From the Wire … Cubs Acquire Catcher George Kottaras from the Royals

The Cubs added a catcher to the 40-man roster on Tuesday. According to multiple reports, the Cubs acquired 30-year old veteran backup George Kottaras from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations according to Paul Sullivan. Kottaras is expected to complete for a back-up job in Spring Training.

The Royals designated Kottaras for assignment on Nov. 21 after he hit .180/.349/.370/.719 in 46 games last year with four doubles and five home runs.

With the addition of George Kottaras, the Cubs’ 40man roster stands at 40 players.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are familiar with George Kottaras from their days together in Boston. Kottaras played for the Red Sox in 2008 and 2009. Kottaras had his best season in the majors in 2011 with the Brewers. Kottaras hit .252/.311/.459 that season for Milwaukee.

George Kottaras’ Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • Eugene Debs

    .180.

    Is the front office trolling us?

  • cubtex

    There was a lot of speculation that the Cubs would have interest in him. Lefty bat with a low average and a high walk rate. He’ll fit right in :)))

    • Sonate

      Yes. His BA was .180 but his OBP was .349!!! If you did not know about the BA the OBP looks just fine, thanks. However, the .370 Slug. does not excite, but hey, they’re bottom fishing, right?

      • cubtex

        He is the Luis Valbuena of catchers.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Dioner Navarro’s career slugging is .371. So its not bad slugging for a catcher. The bright side is Castillo is sure to get a ton of at bats.

        • Bryan

          I agree on Castillo, but the point is can’t we find a competent backup catcher in our entire farm system? I guess the answer is “no”.

          • TheWrongGuy

            No. Our farm system is very bare in the catching department.

          • Ripsnorter1

            At AAA, we have only Luis Flores, and he hit .204 last year.

            AA: Taylor Davis, age 24, hit .206 last year.
            Carlos Escabar: age 23, hit .237.
            Rafael Lopez: age 26, hit .247, slugged .392.
            Chad Noble, age 26, hit .223, slugged .295.

          • cubtex

            don’t forget Eli Whiteside :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Have you seen his photo? He’s rapidly greying.
            https://www.google.com/search?q=Eli+Whiteside&oq=Eli+Whiteside&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.552j0j7&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

            He must have waited and waited for his pitch (ball four is his pitch), and
            it took awhile.

          • Tom U
          • Ripsnorter1

            Thanks! I love your position by position analysis.

          • Tom U

            Thank you Rip!

          • Ripsnorter1

            You are welcome!

            I like it that you are not just a PR man for Team Theo, but actually give
            an honest opinion of what you think is happening. It’s very refreshing.

          • Tony_Hall

            The farm system is 1-1 1/2 years away from having back-up catcher for the MLB team. The rest are just system catchers, good enough to fill spots in the minors.

    • Eugene Debs

      Well, he fell short of the “recovering from injury” qualification, though.

  • Bryan

    And, of course, there is a Boston connection. Shocker! What’s really amazing is that we don’t have a single catching prospect that could potentially do better than a .180 average, atleast in the eyes of the FO.

    • 07GreyDigger

      And he played with the Brewers and Royals. But its all about Boston right?

      • Bryan

        Yep…all about Boston.

      • cubtex

        do you get tired of leaving down arrows Digger? I think you lead the cco in that category. lol

        • 07GreyDigger

          I don’t do them often. But I do them to things that deserve it. Like crying about anything with a Boston or San Diego connection. OH THE HORROR!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I have to agree with that. Hiring guys you have familiarity with makes a ton of sense to me.

          • cubtex

            as well as anything contradicting any move the FO has done. you down arrow quite a bit…but more power to you. If you got a quarter for every down arrow…you would be a rich man.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Why wouldn’t there be a Boston connection? That’s where these guys came from and players they are familiar with. I have no idea why people have a problem with the FO bringing in guys they have experience with. Oh, and also Boston has won 3 world series in 10 years…

      • Bryan

        Will you guys please stop with this “Boston has won 3 world series”…the last being this last year, well post-Theo era. So far we haven’t seen a single prospect make it close to the big league as yet, nor seen any sniff of a reasonable free agent signing under this regime. We all get “giddy” over the future….gosh, how many times have we all heard that…decades, and decades, and decades. In the meantime, let’s tank 2014 as well.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I’m just saying, why wouldn’t we bring in every former Boston guy we can?

          It’s got nothing to do with the future or anything, just saying they’re a great franchise with winners from top to bottom. Why not?

          • cubtex

            yea. and why don’t we put up a “Blue” Monster in left field and change our name to the “Blue” Sox. We can have all our players grow beards and serve Sam Adams at Wrigley. I can see it now!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Ray you’re a businessman, you see this happen all the time in business. You of all people I would think would understand a CEO hiring former employees and people that worked for and understand the culture of the organization he built. All kidding aside, about “blue monsters,” and “Sam Adams,” you really have a problem with them hiring guys in this fashion?

          • cubtex

            I am just having a good time with you Rider. Giving players who you have a track record with another shot, I have no problem with. Only looking at ONE organization to hire coaches and FO types…I do. I really hated the Lovullo deal. You signed an agreement and you should honor that.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I know you hated that and I get your point. I still say there were grey areas but your position was honorable and it’s hard to say was wrong by any means.

            No reason to only hire from Boston, which I’ll admit sometimes it seems. I’d like to see some stats on how many employees (front office, scouting, players) Theo has hired with Boston ties. Compared to non-Boston. Rip? Can you oblige? This sort of info is your ballpark…

          • Sonate

            Sorry, I have to disagree with the context. I understand if you were the band “CARS” (showing my age) that specific performance is necessary. Nobody would want me to sing instead. However, I am an accountant. My contract did not prohibit me from seeking employment from others, because there are millions of other accountants out there that could do my job. How “performance specific” is a coach? I doubt it’s much.

          • cubtex

            If I understand the agreement between the Cubs and Red Sox….Remember, the Red Sox gave the Cubs permission to speak to Theo and let him out of his contract to take the Cubs job. What they asked in return was that Theo not “raid” their staff for a period of 3 years. If that was agreed upon by the Cubs and Theo….he should have honored that and not try and look for any loopholes to try and undermine the agreement.

          • John_CC

            1. You do not know anything about the Lovullo “deal.”

            2. They did not hire Lovullo

            3. Bill Mueller is the only coach on the entire staff that worked for the Red Sox, as well as 3 other ML teams.

            Get over it man.

          • cubtex

            Bill Mueller never worked for the Red Sox. He was a player.

          • John_CC

            Then none of the current coaching staff was cherry-picked from the Red Sox! Problem solved!

          • cubtex

            hahaha. Rick Renteria did work for Jed with the Padres though:) I don’t have a problem at all with that hire. They interviewed several candidates before making Renteria the chosen one.

          • Tom U

            Sorry cubtex, its already taken. Sydney are the Blue Sox

            http://web.theabl.com.au/index.jsp?sid=t4069

          • Eugene Debs

            Well, can he bring some GOOD people from Boston?

        • John_CC

          You may not like to hear it, but the fact is the Red Sox, under Theo Epstein, turned into a perennial winning franchise, and the 2013 has a lot players on it that Epstein brought there. Including Cherington, who was Epstein’s assistant.

          • cubtex

            Damn. Theo should have brought Cherington with him then instead of Jed. Maybe we would have won the WS last year instead of the Sawx

          • Tony_Hall

            Don’t you remember, he was forbidden from bringing him :)

          • John_CC

            He wasn’t allowed to talk to him after agreeing to take the cubs job! No texts, nothing! Plus it would have been way unprofessional right to ask, right?

          • cubtex

            Now you are getting it :) An agreement should be followed without exceptions.

  • cubtex

    Let’s review “Your Chicago Cubs” Transactions for November.

    Mat Gamel
    Aaron Cunningham
    Walter Ibarra
    Chris Valaika
    Eli Whiteside
    Casper Wells……….. and
    George Kottaras

    Eat your heart our NY Yankees,Texas Rangers,Tigers,and every other “BIG” market team

    • Bryan

      With these moves you can’t help but get excited for opening day!

      • cubtex

        Radio stations are in a bidding war as soon as the Kottaras trade went down.

    • Ripsnorter1

      This guarantees that Saltamacchia, AJ Pierzinski, and Navarro won’t get as much
      money with this acquisition.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I just got this from a Royals fan:

      “Kottaras drew some HUGE walks this past year.”

      • cubtex

        we don’t have many hitters, but we got some guys who can look for a walk. Sign Eddie Gaedel. One positive. They will save money next year on bats since they won’t break many with all the walks they will get.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Don’t forget the strikeouts, too. Those swing and miss types really save
          the dough on bats. LOL

          I noticed his 162 game average was .214, so that .180
          shows he just had a down year.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Remember what Earl Weaver used to say…

            “Pitching, defense and the 1-run walk…”

          • Ripsnorter1

            LOL

            He said, “The THREE run homer!”

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Well of course Rip, you can’t score a 3-run walk!

            …or can you? If any team may figure out how I would say it’s the 2014 Cubs :)…

          • cubtex

            Rick Renteria will be saying. OK guys… Look for that Walk. We get 4 of them and we will score a run!

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    LOL, let the Koyie Hill comparisons begin…

    Remember, he is just a backup.

    • cubtex

      The problem is that many of our starters are back ups too. LOL

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Hey, they can back each other up…

        Alot of our current starters will be backing up rookies by the end of 2014 and almost all by 2015…

        • TheWrongGuy

          “Alot of our current starters will be backing up rookies by the end of 2014 and almost all by 2015…”
          If you believe that I got some ocean front property I’ll sell ya.

          • cubtex

            Yea. That is a bit of a stretch I would say :))))

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Olt, Bryant, Baez, Alcantra, Almora, Soler, Villanueva…not saying all of them but I think it’s safe to say that by the end of 2015 this team will have at least 5 starting field players that are first or second year players. Is that so far-fetched?

          • cubtex

            yes. it is very far fetched. Look back in history and tell me when that has ever happened.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            4 then? I don’t think it’s that far fetched. What Team Theo is doing is pretty unprecedented.

            Go ahead, devour that last part about unprecedented and tell me how wrong and drinking the Kool-Aid I am…;)

          • cubtex

            I am just saying that to think that all 4 or 5 prospects will be ready for the mlb at the same time is a little far fetched. Remember Almora is a high school kid. Bryant is a college kid who should come quicker. Soler has a lot of work to do(imo) and Baez is coming quick. You can’t predict when they will all be ready. Soler had an injury that set him back. Almora broke his hamate bone. Things happen

          • daverj

            I agree that it’s unlikely, but I would guess that it has happened before. Off the top of my head, I think the Twins brought up starters Gaetti, Hrbek, Brunansky (though he spent most of his minor league time in the Angels organization), Laudner and Viola around the same time. Of course, they didn’t win a World Series for another 5 years.

          • cubtex

            Good call bringing up the Twins core.

          • daverj

            Another one that hits close to home … the ’61′ish Cubbies with debut’s of HOF’ers Santo, Williams and Brock along with Kenny Hubbs. If we get 3 Hall of Famers out the current crop of minor leaguer hitters, I’ll take that … let’s just hope if we deal one of them, it’s not a Brock type deal!

          • cubtex

            I just looked up when the Dodgers brought up Cey,Russell,Lopes and Garvey. It was pretty much a 5 year window from 1969 to 1973. They were all starting together full time in 1973. A 2 or 3 year window with this group would be more realistic.

          • Tom U

            cubtex, I’m glad you brought that up. I’ve referred to them several times since I began reporting on the minors, and its a kind of a revered subject among minor league followers.

            The 1970 Spokane Indians (Dodgers Triple-A) is considered by most to be the greatest minor league team of all time; not just on there record (94-52), but their prospects. The team included:

            Bill Buckner
            Tommy Hutton
            Davey Lopes
            Bobby Valentine
            Steve Garvey
            Tom Paciorek
            Bill Russell
            Von Joshua
            Charlie Hough
            Geoff Zahn
            Doyle Alexander

            It would be nice to see the Cubs develop a squad like that!

          • cubtex

            Agreed! That was one incredible group of prospects!

          • Ripsnorter1

            Let’s check the stats, Vin, on the greatest MiL baseball team of all time….

            Buckner..All-Star: career .289 BA, .321 OBP (hey, Tony Hall: that’s not high enough
            to play MLB!), .406 slugging. Not such a great stat line for 21 years in the bigs, is it?

            Hutton: 12 yr career: .248 hitting 1B/Of, but look at that OBP: .339, with pathetic .334 slugging.
            No speed. No power. No BA. BUT HE COULD TAKE A WALK. Bench player.

            Lopes: a great Cub when we had him: 16 yr career: .263 BA; .349 OBP (he walked); .388 slugging.
            And he could run: averaged 50 SB for 162 games. All-Star.

            Steve Garvey:
            All-Star; 19 yr career; .294 BA, .329 OBP, .446 slugging.

            Bobby Valentine: 10 yrs, .260 BA, .315 OBP, .326 slugging
            Just a part time player. How did he ever get 10 yrs in the bigs?

            Tom Paciorek:
            18 yr career. .283 BA, .302 OBP, .415 career slugging.

            Bill Russell
            18 yr career: .263 BA, .310 OBP, .338 slugging.
            Good thing he was a SS…..he once hit .286 in a season.

            Von Joshua
            10 yrs: only 3 yrs as fulltime player; .276 BA, .306 OBP, .380 slug
            and this from an OF. He once stole 20 bases, but was cut down 10 times.
            No speed. No power. No BA. No OBP. No glove much.
            Career: -1.9 WAR.

            Charlie Hough
            25 yr knuckleball career. 216-216 record with 3.75 ERA.
            Career 1.302 WHIP rivaled Carlos Marmol 1.338 career WHIP.
            Won at least 10 games 9 years in a row.

            Geoff Zahn
            111-109 with 3.74 career ERA.
            Not bad. Won at least 10 games for 7 years.

            Doyle Alexander
            19 yr career: 194-174 with 3.76 ERA.
            Traded straight up for class A pitcher John Smoltz.

            In summary, of this team, 5 everyday players, 3 starters that were #2 or #3 quality, and 3 bench players who lasted at least 10 years each.

            Zahn…was age 31 when he won 12 games for the first time. 6th year in the bigs.
            Alexander: was age 22. 3rd year.
            Hough: was age 28…6th year.

          • Tom U

            Sorry Rip, I was watching Top Gear.

            Some things the numbers don’t say:

            Buckner spent 7 plus seasons on some horrible Cubs teams (finished .500 once in that span) where he pretty much was the offense. Had he been able to stay with the Dodgers during that time his career numbers might have looked better,

            Valentine was a star in the making until he suffered a gruesome leg injury in 1973. The leg never healed properly and he was a shell of his former self.

            Like Buckner, Zahn was also unfortunate enough to be a member of some pretty horrible teams (1975 Cubs, Minnesota, California). Clubs he pitched for finished higher than third only three times in his career. His best season (1982, 18-8) is when the Angels won the AL West.

            And Alexander was 36 years old when he was traded for Smoltz, and only pitched for 2 more years following the trade.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I forgot about Valentine’s leg injury. You’ve got a mind to remember that!
            I remember the Alexander trade at the time.

            And your post made me compare the 1970 Tacoma Cubs roster with those Dodgers you listed.
            AWFUL.

            Dean Burk. 2-11 6.62

            Ray Newman. He came into save a game in Atlanta, and Sonny Jackson, (of all people!) hit
            a game winning HR off of him on the first pitch he threw in his only year on the Cubs (1971). Man was I disgusted at that time! LHP with a mouth full of chewing tobacco and Wrigley’s Spearmint gum.

            Larry Gura, who won a grand total of 3 games with the Cubs, but 123 more elsewhere. He once threw a fastball behind Willie Stargell’s head, that hit his bat and rolled out to the mound. Gura picked it up and threw him out at 1B. Stargell didn’t bother to run. Next AB: Stargell hit a HR off of him. We lost the game.

          • Tom U

            :-D What great memories.

            I remember when Ken Holtzman ( in his second tour of duty) hit Stargell’s bat while it was on his shoulder for a strike. The look on Stargell’s face was priceless!

          • Tom U

            The other thing you have to look at is the cohort that core group also played in and out of the minors with. Some of those players include:

            Joe Ferguson
            Steve Yeager
            Ron Cey
            Lee Lacey
            Doug Rau
            Rick Rhoden

            They also had a kid down in Single-A by the name of Ivan DeJesus

          • Ripsnorter1

            WOW!

            Let’s see: how many WS did they win with this crowd?
            1981 was 11 years later….

          • Tom U

            They were always in it, but there was the Big Red Machine, the Pirates, and a rising Phillies team to content with.

          • daverj

            … and somehow the ’73 Mets managed to beat them all.

          • Tony_Hall

            Buckner could hit, no doubt about it. But 320 OBP is not very good.

            Maybe that is why he never won a World Series.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            great scouting or plain luck?

            I would be curious to see what level pick they each were…

  • Ripsnorter1

    At least this acquisition has gotten me all excited about ST.

    I hate snow, and I’d rather watch George Kotteras play catcher than
    freeze outside in the snow.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I’d rather watch George Kotteras play catcher outside in the freezing snow.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I believe Theo just added one win to the 2014 Cubs win total.

    • Eugene Debs

      In AAA?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    My Turkey & Pumpkin Pie will go down better this Thanksgiving knowing that we have Kottaras as Castillo’s backup,

    • Tom U

      :-D I’m sure the Cubs are happy they aided your digestion!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Arizona has Theo’s final offer for Samardzija…….this trade can happen by Friday…..or at the Winter Meetings……..or teams will see the Samardzija demand even greater by next Jul……..no matter how Theo looks at it, this team will Suck in 2014 with Jeff or no Jeff.
    Who knows, maybe Edwin Jackson could bring in a top notch prospect by next July.
    This Cubs Roster is like my tool box…….always some screws & nuts out of place.

  • WidespreadHisPanic

    Not bad. I’ll take Kottaras on this roster as a backup.

    Good move.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I received more complaints today about posters editing their post without acknowledging the change just to further their argument.

    I am posting this one more time. Editing comments, other than for spelling or spacing, is not permitted. If the offenders keep editing their posts I will have no choice but to block the poster from leaving future comments.

    I hope everyone understands and I apologize for the problems.

    Thank you.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Sorry Neil, I have to admit I do that all the time. I didn’t know it was frowned upon. I’ll post something and then think of something else to add and edit it. I will admit I probably do it as much as 50% of the time. I had no idea it wasn’t allowed.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I will probably have to start doing alot of posts like this one… “and another thing.”

        I do have to ask out of curiousity. Why is this a big deal and why does anyone actually complain about it? I have never paid enough attention to a post to even notice if someone edited theirs.

        • cubtex

          I compain about you everyday Rider! Those edits drive me nuts! PS…….That was dripping with sarcasm. I never even noticed you do that and I agree with you. I don’t see why anyone would complain. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

        • daverj

          I also agree with you Rider. I’m not sure why anyone would complain about people editing their own posts. I like your posts even when I disagree … keep posting!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thank you for your post, and I am not saying I disagree with
          you. The way you responded to your previous post is perfect.

          I appreciate your understanding and would prefer to just leave it at that.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            No problem Neil. You do enough for us and I’m grateful for it all so I won’t give you a hard time for it. I’ll just keep adding if need be.

            But thanks for the kind words Ray and Daverj. Although we’re friends on here, you guys and some of the other posters on here have a place in my life that’s for sure. I wish all of us regulars and any visitors a Happy Thanksgiving.

  • J Daniel

    I don’t care who he played for … all I can say is LOL!!!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    well…that signing ought to secure the WGN radio contract.

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