From Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Mark Kotsay will retire as a player at the end of the season.
“I know this is a good time physically and mentally for me to retire . . . these are my last games as a player,” Kotsay said Saturday before Atlanta’s Kris Medlen shut out the Padres on four hits over 7 1/3 innings to lead the Braves to a 2-1 victory before 40,153 at Turner Field.
The 37-year-old native of Southern California made his major league debut the same season (1997) as Todd Helton, who is also hanging up his cleats for good this October. Kotsay played for the Marlins, Padres, Athletics, Braves, Red Sox, White Sox and Brewers over the course of his 17-year career, batting .276/.332/.405 with 1,781 hits and 127 home runs. Baseball-Reference estimates he made $50.75 million.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.