According to Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers have agreed to sign Mark Kotsay to a Major League contract. Contract details aren’t available as of “press time,” but I think it’s safe to assume that Kotsay won’t be making much money. The Brewers are hoping that Kotsay can become the next in a line of successful washed-up veteran signings including Gabe Kapler and Jim Edmonds.
The Brewers won’t pay Mark Kotsay much more than the minimum because, at least for the last four years, Mark Kotsay has been a terrible Major League Baseball player. This is a different situation than Kapler and Edmonds, both of whom had been out of baseball for a year, making them complete wild cards in the eyes of projections. That’s not the case with Kotsay, who has accrued at least 200 plate appearances a year since 2007 and has been pure straight terrible in that time frame, compiling -1.6 fWAR in those four seasons.
If this were a minor league contract, we could just address this with a simple “whatever” at this point and be on with it. Really, we probably can still do that, but there is the issue of Kotsay’s deal carrying the “Major League Contract” label. As a result, the Brewers will have to open up a 40-man roster spot. The casualty will probably be somebody negligible – think Roque Mercedes or Martin Maldonado – but the idea of having to expose MLB talent to other teams just for the right to invite Mark Kotsay to camp and either realize he’s terrible or, worse, give his seemingly dead bat MLB plate appearances just rubs me the wrong way. Still, it’s a small price, for sure, and not worth worrying about – even in the context of worrying about sports.