Cubs make a trade for… George Kottaras
Kansas City Royals catcherGeorge Kottaras
returns to home plate after tagging a batter out on a dropped third strike in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Kauffman Stadium. Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
According to the Chicago Cubs official Twitter account, the club has acquired catcher George Kottaras from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.
Kottara is a Toronto-area native and the idea of him coming home to play had been pitched around in the comments section on this site as well as elsewhere in the Blue Jays blogosphere.
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.