Kotsay enters final 10 days of 17-year career

Kotsay enters final 10 days of 17-year career

Kotsay enters final 10 days of 17-year career

SAN DIEGO -- Mark Kotsay, who announced recently that he'll retire at the end of the season, is ready to embark on the final 10 days of his long Major League career.

"It is closure to a journey that I've loved," he said Friday.

Kotsay, who will retire after 17 seasons in the big leagues, has already started thinking about life after playing baseball -- and a potential career in the game.

"Baseball is what I know, it's what I love to do," Kotsay said. "As far as staying with the organization, it's something, moving forward, I'll definitely pursue.

"But at this time, with 10 days left, I haven't thought about what I want to be in the next five years, 10 years. But I definitely want to get my feet wet."

For now, the focus will remain on baseball, these final 10 games of the season, seven of which will be played at Petco Park, beginning Friday night against the Dodgers.

Kotsay entered Friday's game hitting .193 this season in 159 plate appearances. For his career, one that has seen him play for seven different teams, he has a .276/.332/.405 line.

Kotsay was drafted by the Marlins with the ninth-overall pick in 1996 and made his Major League debut the following season at 21. He played three seasons for the Padres from 2001-03 and spent the rest of his career trying to get back to San Diego.

The team signed him before the 2012 season and gave him a one-year contract extension last season.

"I just want to say thank you to the Padres organization for being able to end my career here," Kotsay told reporters. "It's a great place to be. It's been a great journey for 17 seasons."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.