Last offseason the Mariners acquired Casey Kotchman from the Red Sox, settled on $3.5 million contract to avoid arbitration, and then watched as the first baseman hit .217 with a lowly .280 on-base percentage and .336 slugging percentage in 125 games to rank as one of the worst players in baseball.
He remained under team control as an arbitration eligible player for 2011, but today the Mariners dropped him from the 40-man roster and Kotchman became a free agent by declining an assignment to Triple-A.
Kotchman is a better hitter than he showed this season and remains a very good defensive first baseman, but at this point it’s time to give up any hope of him becoming a starting-caliber hitter.
At age 28 he owns a career line of .259/.326/.392 in over 2,300 plate appearances, which is mediocre for a shortstop and downright awful for a first baseman regardless of the quality of his glove. He may have to settle for a minor-league contract and a chance to compete for a bench job in spring training.