Mark Kotsay close to one-year contract with Padres

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Mark Kotsay had the best years of his career with the Padres from 2001-2003 and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the veteran outfielder is returning to San Diego on a one-year deal worth around $1.25 million.

At age 35 he’s no longer capable of playing center field regularly and Kotsay’s bat isn’t starting-caliber in a corner spot, but he’s still productive enough to be a decent bench option after hitting .270 with a .703 OPS in 255 plate appearances for the Brewers.

He made 27 starts in right field, 13 starts in left field, nine starts in center field, and one start at first base for Milwaukee, but hasn’t cracked a .750 OPS since 2004. Kotsay hit .283 with a .782 OPS during his first stint in San Diego, which began when he was 25.

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

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The Dodgers announced on Thursday that the club activated pitcher Grant Dayton from the 10-day disabled list and designated pitcher Sergio Romo for assignment.

Dayton, 29, went on the disabled list earlier this month with neck stiffness. He’ll resume with a 3.63 ERA and a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings.

Romo, 34, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers in February. It didn’t really work out, as the right-hander posted a 6.12 ERA with a 31/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. His peripherals are still decent, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a bullpen arm makes a deal with the Dodgers within the week.

Nate Karns underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Royals pitcher Nate Karns underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday. He’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. Karns went on the disabled list in May with an elbow injury and didn’t make much progress.

The Royals acquired Karns from the Mariners in January in exchange for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Over eight starts and one relief appearance, the 29-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.17 ERA and a 51/13 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.

Karns will enter his first of three years of arbitration eligibility after the season, so he’ll be under the Royals’ control through 2020.