The San Diego Padres have been outspoken about bolstering their bench. Last year, the Padres really didn’t have a full-time, left-handed bench option. Well, look no more. The Padres have reportedly reached an agreement with free agent and former Padre Mark Kotsay on a one-year, $1.25MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
If you’re worried by the initial feeling that Kotsay will be the everyday right fielder, fret no more. Kotsay will be the Padres bench option, not the everyday fixture in right. However, it does still bring up questions. Possibly more questions than the signing solves.
Why not go with an internal option? The Padres have Jeremy Hermida, who played off the bench last year, is younger, looked decent and is a former top-prospect with much more power and potential than an on-the-decline Kotsay.
The Padres also have Blake Tekotte who made his debut last year. I could understand not using a prospect in the pinch-hitter role. However, I’m not sure the Padres view Tekotte necessarily as a prospect internally. In that case, how much time does a fourth or fifth outfielder need?
Kotsay also hit (.270/.329/.373) last year with Milwaukee. Having said that, take into consideration the production in the Milwaukee launching pad and in that division in general. What will that translate to not only in PETCO Park, where fly-balls go to die, but the NL West in general? Well, in my opinion, not good. I find it interesting that Kotsay is another former client of now-CEO Jeff Moorad, who was an agent under Kotsay’s first stint with the Pads. Just another older player brought to San Diego (no shocker) who has ties to ownership that was once an agent of a player. The other? Orlando Hudson.
The Moorad signings of former clients are starting to remind me of Kevin Smith movies. A cast of friends brought in instead of true talent. If this is a trend, even though it appears to be for a bench option, it could be a bad theme. I mean, we have already witnessed a bias in the front office. Namely, the new regime, which allowed Jed Hoyer to leave San Diego for a lateral move, and filled the role with Jeff Moorad’s close friend, Josh Brynes.
With right field being the only real question mark in the outfield, (no pun intended) with Cameron Maybin in center field and Kyle Blanks in left. Will Venable, barring a trade, is the Padres top right-field option. The Padres also have Jesus Guzman, who has been playing left field and first base in the Venezuelan League. He will likely get a legit shot at first, along with top-prospect Anthony Rizzo. They also have former prospect Aaron Cunningham, Chris Denorfia, and Hermida as outfield bench options.
The Padres also have to trim the roster to protect some of their internal options soon. I reiterate, while Kotsay will be a bench option, I’m not sure the Padres couldn’t have filed that hole internally for less, spending that money and saving a roster spot elsewhere. I am waiting for the front office to make its comments regarding this signing. I expect to hear how great a clubhouse guy Kotsay is and how the Padres lacked chemistry last year. Hey, I’m all about chemistry, and the Padres obviously lacked that last year, but again, I’m not sure they spent their money wisely given all their options this early in the offseason.