01/14/2008 5:24 PM ET
Braves acquire outfielder Mark Kotsay from Athletics
ATLANTA -- Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren announced today that the Braves and Oakland Athletics have completed a three-player trade. The Braves acquired outfielder Mark Kotsay from the A's in exchange for right-handed pitcher Joey Devine, minor league right-handed pitcher Jamie Richmond and cash considerations.
Kotsay, 32, has played 11 major league seasons, including the last four (2004-07) with Oakland. He owns a .282 career batting average, with 103 home runs, 664 runs scored and 560 RBI in 1,340 games.
In his nine full seasons from 1998 to 2006, Kotsay averaged 141 games played, 529 at-bats, 71 runs, 11 homers, 60 RBI and a .286 batting average.
Known as a premier defensive outfielder, Kotsay has collected a major-league-high 110 outfield assists since his first full season in 1998. He has posted double-digit outfield assist totals six times in his career.
"Mark is one of the most accomplished defensive center fielders in the game and is a true professional," said Wren. "We feel that we have added another quality 'baseball player' to our club."
Kotsay had back surgery during spring training last year and was limited to just 56 games in 2007. His back problems returned in August and forced him to miss the remainder of the season. His .214 batting average was the lowest of his career outside his first season with Florida in 1997 (.192 in 14 games).
Originally selected by the Florida Marlins in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1996 draft, Kotsay was an All-American at Cal State-Fullerton, leading the Titans to the 1995 College World Series title and earning national Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. In 1996, he won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top amateur player and then batted .303 (10-for-33) with three home runs for the U.S.
Olympic Baseball Team in the Atlanta games.
Devine, 24, was Atlanta's top draft pick in 2005 and made his big-league debut that season. He went 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA in 25 games
for the Braves over parts of the last three seasons.
Richmond, 21, went 16-7 with a 2.48 ERA in three minor league seasons for the Braves (2005-07).