According to the Chicago Cubs official Twitter account, the club has acquired catcher George Kottaras from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.
#Cubs today acquired C George Kottaras from Kansas City for a cash consideration. Kottaras served as the Royals' back-up catcher last year.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 26, 2013
He appeared in 46 games this year for the Royals and batted .180/.349/.370. He struck out 1/3 of his at bats but walked 19%, which means unbelievably more than half the time last year he either walked or struck out. He does provide power from the position and his .190 ISO was ninth best in the league among catchers with 100 plate appearances.
Historically he’s probably been a below average defender but did manage to catch nine of 25 runners that attempted to steal against him last season, which was league average at 26%. And he’s also had experience dealing with the knuckleball after catching Tim Wakefield almost exclusively in 2009, which is another reason why he would have most likely worked in Toronto.
He’s expected to be Welington Castillo‘s back-up in 2014 as Dioner Navarro will most likely sign elsewhere. MLBTR projects Kottaras to make $1.2 million next season and for the small price of cash considerations it looks like the Blue Jays might have missed out on what could be a very serviceable MLB back-up.
Perhaps they are aiming higher (or are still holding on to hope for Josh Thole) but time might be running out for the Blue Jays to add a catcher if they in fact planning to upgrade behind the plate this off-season.