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Kotsay is once and future Padre

Outfielder Mark Kotsay is returning to the San Diego Padres.
Outfielder Mark Kotsay is returning to the San Diego Padres.
Christian Petersen / Getty Images

The San Diego Padres on Wednesday agreed to terms on a one-year contract with outfielder Mark Kotsay. It's the first roster addition under new General Manager Josh Byrnes.

Kotsay, who turns 36 in December, is a lifetime .278 hitter with 124 home runs.

With the Milwaukee Brewers last season, Kotsay hit .270 with three home runs and 31 RBI in 104 games. He made 45 pinch-hit appearances and hit .293 with a .356 on-base percentage. Over his 15-year career, Kotsay has hit .308 as a pinch-hitter.

This could be significant, as Kotsay figures to be the fourth (or fifth) outfielder, fill-in first baseman and pinch-hitter. The lefty-hitting Kotsay doesn't project as a productive signing for Petco Park -- think Brad Hawpe -- but he has maintained a home in San Diego, is considered a good influence in the clubhouse and he has playoff experience, including postseason appearances with Boston in 2008 and Milwaukee this year.

As a member of the Padres from 2001-03, Kotsay hit .283 with a .355 on-base percentage. He had 84 doubles, 12 triples, 34 home runs and 157 RBI in 400 games, making 362 of his 363 starts for the Padres in center field. Kotsay remains a good outfielder, ranking among active leaders in assists.

Kotsay, a native Southern Californian, has missed significant time to injuries and has not had 500 at-bats in a season since he played for Oakland in 2006. In 2002, as the Padres center fielder, Kotsay managed to play in 153 games and posted a career-high 17 homers.

Kotsay joins a crowded outfield that (for now) includes incumbent starters Cameron Maybin and Will Venable, as well as Kyle Blanks and Chris Denorfia.

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