Mariners cut loose arbitration eligible Casey Kotchman

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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.

White Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer dies

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Ed Farmer, who pitched 11 years in the big leagues and then went on to much greater fame as a radio voice for the Chicago White Sox has died. He was 70.

Farmer, who had a history of kidney disease, had been in poor health which caused him to miss the end of the 2019 season. He was also was on a slower ramp-up to the 2020 season. His cause of death was not immediately reported.

Farmer, a Chicago native, was the 5th round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1967 draft and made his debut with them in 1971. From there he would go to Detroit, Philly, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Texas before joining his hometown White Sox in 1979. After three seasons with the Sox he’d go back to Philly and then close out his career in Oakland in 1983. He pitched in 370 games in all, with all but 21 of them coming from the pen. He posted an ERA of 4.30. His best season came in 1979, which he split between the Rangers and Sox, posting a 2.99 ERA in 53 games, tossing 114.1 innings. He saved 30 for the Sox in 1980.

Farmer was better known as the radio voice for the White Sox, a role he first assumed in 1990. In 1991 he served as a special assistant to Sox general manager Ron Schueler, but was back in the booth for good in 1992. 2020 was set to be his 29th calling Sox games. In 2004 he and broadcast partner John Rooney were named the best radio team in the American League by USA Today.