Mark Kotsay has posted a weak .275/.333/.363 batting line in 111 plate appearances this season and isn’t much of a defender at age 36, but Corey Brock of MLB.com writes that Padres have been “impressed” with the veteran outfielder’s clubhouse presence and signed him Sunday to a contract extension that runs through the 2013 season.
No word yet on the financial terms of the new contract, though it’s doubtful to be overly lucrative.
Kotsay is earning $1.25 million here in 2012 as a bench bat and backup outfielder on a San Diego squad that is currently 13 games under the .500 mark. The 15-year MLB veteran has also played for the Marlins, Athletics, Braves, Red Sox, White Sox and Brewers.
UPDATE, 3:37 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the one-year extension is worth $1.3 million.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.