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Kotsay joining Padres' front office

Former big leaguer returns to game soon after retiring as player

SAN DIEGO -- Mark Kotsay, who retired following the season, will join the Padres' front office as a special assistant.

Kotsay, who turned 38 on Dec. 2, spent the last two seasons with the Padres. All told, Kotsay spent parts of 17 seasons in the big leagues with seven different teams.

He served two tours with the Padres, from 2001-03 and then 2012-13. He finished his career with 1,784 hits.

Kotsay's role with the team won't be unlike that of those recently retired players before him, such as Dave Roberts, Trevor Hoffman, Mark Loretta and Brad Ausmus.

Kotsay will likely do what Hoffman, Loretta and Ausmus did before him, spending time with San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes, assistant general manager A.J. Hinch, senior vice president Omar Minaya and others in the organization as well as spending time in Spring Training, with the club's Minor League affiliates, the team's player development staff and also offering opinions along the way.

Roberts went on to join the Padres' coaching staff and was recently named bench coach. Hoffman will serve as the team's upper-level pitching coordinator and special assistant to the general manager. Loretta is still serving as a special assistant, and Ausmus recently was named manager of the Tigers.

These special assistant jobs are designed to get former players exposure to all aspects of the front office and are mutually beneficial, as players offer their experience while providing a unique perspective.

In September, after he announced his intention to retire after the season, Kotsay sounded as if he was going to find a way to stay attached to baseball. As it turns out, Kotsay didn't stay away long.

"I'll miss the camaraderie of being around the guys," he said. "I'll miss the competition and pure joy that comes with winning as a team."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter.