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.
LOS ANGELES — Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Tommy Kahnle appear set to rejoin the New York Yankees ahead of their series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
New York cleared three roster spots, saying that infielder-outfielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Franchy Cordero had been optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre along with left-hander Matt Krook after a 1-0 loss at Seattle.
Stanton, Donaldson and Kahnle all played in a rehab game for Double-A Somerset. Stanton was hitless in three at-bats in his first appearance since injuring his left hamstring on April 15.
Donaldson went 1 for 4 in his fourth rehab game as he comes back from a strained right hamstring originally sustained on April 5.
Kahnle pitched one inning, giving up one run and one hit and walking two. He has been out since spring training with right biceps tendinitis.
Boone said he wasn’t concerned about Stanton potentially returning after playing in just one rehab game. He did say that Stanton likely will be a designated hitter for a couple of weeks after rejoining the Yankees.