The Red Sox today officially acquired outfielder Mark Kotsay from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league outfielder Luis Sumoza.
Mark Kotsay (AP)
Though Kotsay is expected in New York today before tonight’s game, he is not expected to be in tonight’s lineup against the Yankees, according to the Globe’s Amalie Benjamin. His plane is scheduled to land just past 5 p.m., which would get him to the ballpark around 6 p.m. He will wear No. 11.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona spoke highly of Kotsay in a pre-game meeting with the media.
“I know that I’ve gotten messages from people all over the league that said he’s like everybody’s all-time favorite,” said Francona. “I know he’s a real professional and that he’s real excited about coming here and he said he’d do anything we asked to try and help us win.”
Asked if he looked to use Kotsay in right or left field, Francona said, “We’ll talk to him about that, but the one thing I’ve heard about him is that if he can walk, he’ll play. I’ve heard that from numerous people.”
The 32-year-old is batting .289 with 6 homers and 37 RBIs in 81 games this season.
“To be with the Red Sox will be cool,” Kotsay told MLB.com. “I’ve always said there were a couple of teams I’d like to play for, with Atlanta being one of them. But I’m looking forward to joining the Red Sox and being in the pennant race.”
According to Foxsports.com, Kotsay will receive a $325,000 bonus for agreeing to waive his no-trade clause for the Red Sox, one of eight teams reportedly on his no-trade list.
The Kotsay deal gives the Red Sox some needed depth in the outfield. Right fielder J.D. Drew went on the disabled list yesterday with a back strain, retroactive to Aug. 18. He came out of a game on the 17th after injuring himself backing up Jacoby Ellsbury in the field.
The 20-year-old Sumoza is hitting .301 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs for the Single-A Lowell Spinners.
Michael Vega of the Globe Staff contributed from New York.