From the Wire … Cubs Avoid Arbitration with George Kottaras, Sign to One-Year Contract

According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Cubs signed George Kottaras to a one-year, $1.075 million contract for the 2014 season. The Cubs avoided arbitration by agreeing to the one-year deal with Kottaras.

The one-year contract reportedly includes an incentives package.

With Kottaras signed for next season, the Cubs have 10 players on the 40-man roster arbitration eligible for next season. The deadline to tender contracts to those 10 players is 10:59pm CST on Monday night (Dec. 2).

According to multiple reports on Monday, the Cubs will not tender RHP Daniel Bard a contract for next season. The Cubs have not made an official announcement on Bard.

George Kottaras will report to Spring Training as the Cubs’ backup catcher to Welington Castillo. Kottaras will still have to make the team and his contract does not become guaranteed until he breaks camp on the active roster.

Kottaras hit .180/.349/.370/.719 with four doubles and five home runs in 46 games with the Royals last season. Kottaras owns a .218/.331/.406 slash line in 174 games over three seasons with the Brewers. The left-handed catcher hit 22 doubles, two triples and 17 home runs during his time in Milwaukee.

George Kottaras’ Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • cubtex

    Non Tendered Bard and Gamel. 40 man roster currently at 38.

    • RynoTiger

      whoa…wait a minute…some folks were saying no way would Bard be non-tendered because he’s a buddy and Theo and Jed wouldn’t do that to their buddy…where are the buddy birds? buddy is unemployed right now.

      • Tony_Hall

        Bard, most likely has a minor league contract with an invite to camp. Honestly not much different in the grand scheme, as neither is guaranteed, but it opens up a spot on the 40 man.

      • Ripsnorter1

        If you are speaking about what I said, I’ll have to correct you.

        I said, “If they keep their buddy, Mr. Bard, and cut Donny Murphy, who
        played very well for us in 2013, then I am goind to have something to say about it.”

  • cubtex

    If return for Fister is accurate….not good news if Cubs are going to move Shark this winter.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
      • Tony_Hall

        They didn’t have much leverage as they needed to clear a rotation spot.

        Not sure why they wouldn’t have waited the market out, unless this helps their 40 man roster moves right now.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Regardless, he was given away and the trade hurts Samardzija’s return.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t believe it will lower what the Cubs are asking for in return. They don’t have to trade Samardzija during the off-season and July is a long ways away.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            OMG…I am agreeing with you on this one.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, it may not lower what they are asking and you are right they do not have to trade him, but the deal for Fister does lower his value and removes a team that was known to have interest.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            yeah…makes you wonder if the rumors of them deciding to wait out offers until after the Tanaka posting (which they won’t win) shakes out the market.

            If they had a good offer, I would have taken it….we don’t know what they were offered up to this point though. All I can think of is Justin Upton for Starlin Castro…we let that pass, and now I at least regret that move.

        • cubtex

          What do you mean they didn’t have much leverage? How many teams do you think would love to have Fister in their rotation?

          • Tony_Hall

            They needed to clear a rotation spot and everyone knows it. Why would anyone overpay for him, especially this early in the off-season. He is not an overpowering pitcher, that is going to be in high demand.

            It’s not like the Nationals didn’t shop him around and take the best offer they could find. Look at what Theo and Jed received for Garza for just a couple month rental. The Nats obviously didn’t have enough leverage or they would have received a much better return.

          • cubtex

            Needed to clear on December 1st? Look at your favorite stat WAR for Fister over the last 3 years. He is worth a lot more than the return. Cubs could use him

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree they should have received more, hence the lack of leverage comes into play.

            Of course there is positive spin.

            Tim Kurkjian ‏@Kurkjian_ESPN11m

            The Tigers cleared money, opened a rotation spot for Drew Smyly and got a LH reliever (Ian Krol). And Steve Lombardozzi is very usefu

            JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm6m

            Krol significant up-grade to Tigers pen from left-side;Lombardozzi solid utilityInf & Ray has potential of 4th starter.Tigers reduce payroll

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Good call on the salary dump Tony … as you pointed out, that is what is being reported as the main reason for the trade.

      • cubtex

        I can’t believe that is all they got. He is controlled till 2016 I think as well. Too bad Cubs couldn’t have put together a better package and aquired Fister.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          No one can believe that is all they received for him.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Dombrowski might not be feeling well these days………….maybe it is a good time to offer Darwin Barney for Miguel Cabrera.

        • Tony_Hall

          Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisMLB6m
          Wow. Fister trade looks like a lopsided win for the #Nationals to me. Is that just a salary dump for the #Tigers?

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Well I say then to Arizona and other teams…..”Should had traded for Fister when you had the chance”……..No need to panic people…..all will be good on the Shark return…..
      in other news…….
      Sam Fuld can return home to Wrigley…….he is a free agent…….
      Next year….Chris Archer !

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      agreed.

  • cubtex

    Would have done a James Russell, Darwin Barney and a lower prospect like Cabrera for Fister in a heartbeat.

    • Tony_Hall

      Very possibly was the Cubs offer.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I would have even thrown in Casey Coleman.

      I don’t get this trade at all.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Steve Lombardozzi–a good fielding 3B, a poor fielding OF, a very average 2B,
    a lousy SS, and no bat, no speed, no power, just awful at taking a walk (8 BB in
    307 PA!–Castro looks so much better!), pure bench player.

    Ian Krol–a 22 yr old relief pitcher. In 22 AA games, he had an 0.69 ERA…a soft tossing LH reliever.
    Krol’s fastball breaks 90 mph only on a good day. He excels at changing speeds, working both sides of the plate with great accuracy, and keeping hitters both off-balance and honest, thanks to the aforementioned touch ability and a plus curve that he can bounce or drop into the zone on demand.

    Robbie Ray is a 22 yr old LH starter in AA. He has a nasty breaking ball to complement a well-controlled fastball;
    projects as a potent bullpen weapon once he builds up his strength a bit.

    Doug Fister: throws 4th most ground balls in MLB. Not a strikeout pitcher, but has excellent control.

    • Tony_Hall

      I think Ray is a little better then a bullpen weapon.

      Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks31m

      Robbie Ray is a good arm to acquire; most likely a backend starter but he could find the middle of a rotation. It’s solid but far from sexy.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yeah, but this guy is of slight build right now. And thinly muscled pitchers
        often fail to make good starters.

        • Tony_Hall

          Parks says he cracks the Nationals Top 5 prospects.

          But I agree, the trade doesn’t make a lot of sense.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I think both pitchers will be ML pitchers, imo, both will
            be relievers. And both are LHP, so that helps, too.

            I guess this just goes to show you that you can make a haul
            on occasion, when some team runs into money issues and wants to
            dump a salary.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            and this was for a P, Fister, who is better than Shark…I just don’t see us getting the huge haul everyone thinks we will get. Don’t get me wrong, I hope he is gone.

          • Tony_Hall

            The difference is Fister will never be considered to have any TOR potential, whereas Samardzija does. Power hitter, power arms get more money and return in trade. Doesn’t mean it is right or that if you had offers from all 30 teams the average wouldn’t be better for Fister then Samardzija, but in trades and FA it only takes one team to overpay.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            as you pointed out, Keith Law viewed Fister as top 30 pitcher the past two years. Doubtful that is ever said about Shark, as he is already 2 years past what Theo considers a player’s prime (27).

          • Tony_Hall

            Um, Fister is older than Samardzija. Stuff wise, he is Top 10 and that is why he will get the return that is far better then the Tigers just got for Fister.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            1 year difference…lol. I hope you are right!

          • Ripsnorter1

            Shark could very well pull down a sub 3.50 ERA in 2014.
            I am not ready to throw in the towel on this guy. He simply has great stuff.

            Is Fister better than Shark?
            Not in my world.

            Fister: 208 IP….229 H….1.308 WHIP
            Shark: 213 IP…210 H….1.348 WHIP

            Stuff wise, it’s Shark easily over Fister.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            same age, and Fister has better ERA. Plus Shark can’t handle adversity. No idea if Fister can, but I know Shark can’t.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          Greg Maddux, anyone? Pedro Martinez? :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            “Often” fail…not always fail.

          • Tony_Hall

            Juan Cruz anyone? Examples are available for any comparison.

          • cubtex

            CJ Edwards? Joking. I don’t believe that at all. There has been a ton of skinny non muscular pitchers who have had long successful careers.

          • Tony_Hall

            We all are hoping CJ Edwards is a success story for smaller SP’s.

  • Tony_Hall

    Keith Law is equally confused on this return.

    “A lefty reliever, a backup at second, and a non-top 100 prospect is just not a good return for two years of one of the top 30 starters in baseball.”

    http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/keith-law/post/_/id/1592/nats-get-better-of-tigers-in-fister-deal

    • cubtex

      Yep. My fake proposal was better.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not to Dombrowski :) And he had the only vote.

        I have to believe that Dombrowski really likes Ray….no pun intended.

        • cubtex

          We don’t know if Cubs were in it

          • Tony_Hall

            Exactly, we don’t know and probably never will know. But I would assume that most teams knew he was available and those that could use a pitcher like Fister, threw out an offer.

  • Tom U

    Michael Bowden announced on Twitter that he has signed with the Seibu Lions

    • cubtex

      Good for him.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Smaller ball parks over in Japan……Bowden fly balls would fly out of the Grand Canyon anyway.

  • cubtex

    On another note….Andrew Bailey is a free agent.

    • Tony_Hall

      Might be a good fit.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      so Red Sox changed their mind once again on Bailey……as I said the other day, Theo might go after Bailey.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Daniel Hudson…..now there is a “project” for Theo.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Murphy signed 1-year, $825,000 deal for next season to avoid arbitration

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Barney going to the deadline it seems.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      For the numbers he put up in a short time this past season, this is a good deal.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs tender 2014 contracts to Barney, Samardzija, Schierholtz, Wood, Strop, Russell, Valbuena.

    Lim, Gamel and Bard were non-tendered

    • CubbyDenCritic

      three spots open on 40 man.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Oakland got Orioles Jim Johnson tonight………all about pitching for the A’s.