The Chicago Cubs are going to bring in at least one more infielder to compete for that last bench spot. That the guy, for now, is former Twin and Brewer, Corey Koskie.
Koskie last played in the bigs in 2006, and put up a very nice .833 OPS in limited play due to post-concussion syndrome. The injury – and the emergence of Ryan Braun (though he subsequently moved to LF) – cost him his 2007 season as well, and then the Brewers decided not to bring him back in 2008.
It’s possible he’s finally ready to come back, and he’s actually always been a very solid hitter. Due to limited space on the Cubs bench, however, it’s hard to see how a guy who has only played 3rd base in the last 8 years is a good fit for this team.
MESA, AZ – The Chicago Cubs and infielder Corey Koskie have agreed to terms on a 2009 minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. The deal is pending Koskie passing a physical.
Koskie is scheduled to report to Team Canada next week and will participate in the World Baseball Classic. He will report to Cubs camp following Canada’s participation in the WBC.
The 35-year-old Koskie is a career .275 hitter (936-for-3399) with 223 doubles, 124 home runs and 506 RBI in all or part of nine major league seasons with Minnesota (1998-2004), Toronto (2005) and Milwaukee (2006), covering 989 games. The left-handed hitter recorded 20 or more doubles in each of his last eight big league campaigns, including a career-high 37 doubles in 2001 and 2002. Koskie owns a career .367 on-base percentage and .458 slugging percentage, good for a .825 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
Koskie has primarily played third base, turning in a .966 fielding percentage throughout his big league career. His .966 fielding percentage ranked sixth among all major league third basemen from 1998-2006 (minimum 900 games played).
The six-foot-three, 220-pounder most recently played in the majors with Milwaukee in 2006 when his season was cut short due to a concussion he suffered on July 5 against Cincinnati. He batted .261 (67-for-257) with 23 doubles, 12 home runs and 33 RBI in 76 games in 2006.
Koskie batted a career-best .310 with 21 doubles, 11 home runs and 58 RBI in 117 games with the Twins in 1999, the first time he spent the majority of a season in the big leagues. After batting .300 with a .400 on-base percentage in 146 games in 2000, Koskie turned in his best season in 2001 when he set career highs with 26 home runs, 100 runs scored and 103 RBI in 153 games with the Twins. He helped lead the Twins to three consecutive post-season appearances from 2002-04.
Following the 2004 campaign, Koskie signed a three-year free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was traded to Milwaukee for pitcher Brian Wolfe prior to the 2006 campaign.