So a little while ago we learned from Shannon Drayer and a bunch of other people at the same time that Casey Kotchman has refused an assignment to Tacoma and become a free agent. Though this is the word most commonly used to describe such an action, I do find it to be curiously emphatic.
Zduriencik: Casey, we would like to outright you to Tacoma.
Kotchman: AW HELL NO
Kotchman: HELL NO
Kotchman: BITCH PLEASE YOU TAKE YOUR TACOMA AND SHOVE IT
Kotchman: I'M CASEY KOTCHMAN
Kotchman, of course, will be missed by nobody, other than Chone Figgins, who made up 33% of one of the more unusual clubhouse buddy pairs in baseball history. But because the team was so bad and everything blended together, you might have forgotten just how lousy Kotchman really was. You know what he batted? .217/.280/.346. Casey Kotchman came to the plate 457 times and posted a .616 OPS. As a regular first baseman.
His OPS+ - where 100 is average, and greater than 100 is above average - was 73. The last first baseman to come to the plate at least 450 times and post an OPS+ worse than 73 was Dan Meyer's 66 in 1978. (Meyer, fittingly, was a Mariner.)
Kevin Young put up an OPS+ of exactly 73 as the' regular first baseman in 1993. You should ask Pirates fans how they feel about Kevin Young sometime. Young spent 11 seasons putting up a 95 OPS+ as a first baseman with the Pirates and one season putting up a 92 OPS+ as a first baseman with the , giving him one of the more classically miserable careers of the past two decades. Kevin Young, by the way, earned nearly twenty-nine million dollars.
We know Casey Kotchman got unlucky. By and large you don't have a season this terrible without at least a little bad luck, and an awful lot of his line drives found an awful lot of gloves. He's better than his 2010 numbers would suggest, and he could still turn into a fine bench player somewhere else. But there's a difference between getting unlucky and getting unlucky while posting a .616 OPS as a first baseman. Kotchman's true talent offense is already sufficiently mediocre that he can't afford any bad luck at all, and because of his failure to develop, his starting days are almost certainly over. He just isn't worth it.