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Brewers agree to deal catcher George Kottaras to Athletics

Jul 28, 2012, 4:02 PM EDT

Kottaras_George

UPDATE: According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Brewers are getting right-handed reliever Fautino De Los Santos.

SATURDAY, 4:02 PM ET: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the two clubs have reached an agreement on a deal. It’s not clear what the Brewers are getting in return, but it doesn’t figure to be much.

SATURDAY, 3:30 PM ET: According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Brewers are close to trading catcher George Kottaras to the Athletics.

Kottaras was designated for assignment earlier this week after Jonathan Lucroy was activated from the disabled list and Brewers decided to go with Martin Maldonado as their backup catcher. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin quickly came out and said that he was working on trading him to another team.

Kottaras is batting just .209 this season, but has a .409 on-base percentage, 29 walks and three homers over 116 plate appearances. In other words, he’s right up Billy Beane’s alley. The 29-year-old backstop owns a .221/.326/.402 batting line and a .728 OPS in the big leagues.

The Athletics have a lousy .198/.250/.269 batting line and a major-league worst .519 OPS from their catchers this season. Kurt Suzuki and rookie Derek Norris have shared playing time behind the plate recently.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that this could be a sign that Suzuki could be on the move. Slusser hears that the Rays, Dodgers and Angels are among the teams who are believed to have some interest. That may be a tough sell, as the 28-year-old is hitting just .213/.247/.273 with one home run and a .520 OPS this season. He is owed $6.45 million next season while his contract includes an $8.5 million club option for 2014 or a $650,000 buyout.

  1. jimtron11 - Jul 28, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Nice snag by Billy Bean and the A’s (I can’t imagine they gave up any minor leaguer of substance in the deal). Kottaras has .754 career OPS, along with 15 HRs in 400 career at-bats versus right-handed pitching. He’s an average defensive catcher who can play first base in a pinch, as well. As far as what this means for Kurt Suzuki; I would tend to think the Athletics will simply opt to go with three catchers on the 25-man roster. Obviously, catchers tend to get dinged up over the course of 162, so the Kottaras acquistion could prove invaluable in the event of an injury to either Suzuki or Derek Norris. It’s also nice to add a left-handed-hitting catcher to a pair of righties.

    Funny to see the Athletics acquire a Scott Hatteberg clone on the eve of, you guessed it, ‘Scott Hatteberg bobble head doll night,’ in Oakland next month. :)

    • teaspoon1731 - Jul 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      So do all Red Sox cast offs end up in Oakland? I mean I know they actually traded Reddick there, and that Coco wasn’t always with Boston. But Coco, Reddick, Moss and now Kottaras? Sox give up on Sabermetrics, A’s benefit. Seems fitting.

    • zippythesquirrel - Jul 28, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Have watched Kottaras during his time with Milwaukee. An “average defensive catcher” is a bit generous. He has to hit to be worth anything. Pinch hitting is his best role. Low average but some pop in the bat with decent OBP with the BB’s. Basepath clogger though.

    • gustavov8 - Jul 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      I don’t think they will go with three catchers…i see Beane ditching Suzuki and his salary to go with Norris and Kottaras, and in case of injury the A’s still have Donaldson and Recker in Triple-A!

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