Red Sox sign Mark Kotsay

Everybody wanted him back, so guess what? He's back! The Red Sox signed Mark Kotsay to presumably be a backup first baseman and 4th/5th outfielder:

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein continued his busy week by filling the backup first baseman's job with a familiar face. The club has agreed to terms with Mark Kotsay on a one-year deal.

Kotsay was acquired by the Red Sox on Aug. 27 of the 2008 season in a waiver deal with the Atlanta Braves, and wound up starting all seven games of the American League Championship Series following the right hip injury to Mike Lowell.

The Boston Herald reported the re-signing of Kotsay for $1.5 million plus incentives late on Thursday night, but the Red Sox aren't expected to announce the deal until Kotsay takes a physical next week.

It's a great deal. Kotsay proved his worth late last season and in the playoffs by playing a great first base. He's a gutsy player and I think he's been solid in the clubhouse. I will admit I've never been a fan of Kotsay, but after what he did with the Sox last season, he has turned me around. I am excited to see another year with him.

Suddenly, within two days, the Red Sox have a very strong bench:

MIF Julio Lugo
OF Rocco Baldelli
OF/1B Mark Kotsay
C George Kottaras

Just a couple days ago I wrote how bad the Red Sox bench was. Theo Epstein has completely turned that around. The Red Sox now have depth. All these signings look minor on the surface, but when you add them together it's a great equation for the Sox. It's like having a beautiful wall, but no nails to hold it in place. John Smoltz, Rocco Baldelli and Kotsay are those nails.

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