The Miami Marlins just announced that they signed Casey Kotchman. Not gonna say Casey Kotchman doesn’t streak across my radar very often, but I had no idea that he wasn’t on a team. This time next year I imagine he’ll replace Miguel Cairo as that guy I am shocked to learn is still in baseball once or twice a year.
Kotchman hit .229/.280/.333 with 12 home runs, 55 RBI and a .612 OPS in 142 games with the Indians last season. Presumably he’d back up Logan Morrison. Or cover first in the unlikely event Morrison plays some in left.
Or right if Jeff Loria trades Giancarlo Stanton for some magic beans two days after suggesting he purchase property in south Florida.
Two guys who spent some time in the bigs but who have found more success in Asia have decided to stay in Asia.
Darin Ruf has re-signed with the Samsung Lions of KBO, per MLB Trade Rumors. Ruf, who played five years for the Phillies but didn’t really have the numbers to stick, has stuck just fine in Korea. In two seasons in the offense-friendly league he has hit 64 homers and has put up a line of .322/.412/.587. His new deal with Samsung will pay him a guaranteed $1.4 million with $300K in potential bonuses.
The other guy — Nick Martinez — has signed a $2.5 million plus incentives deal to stay with the Nippon Ham Fighters of NPB. The former Rangers starter went 10-11 with a 3.51 ERA for the Fighters in 2018. He was 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA in four seasons with Texas.
Maybe Ruf and Martinez still have U.S. major league dreams, but guaranteed bucks in the Korean and Japanese majors is better than signing minor league deals and riding busses here.