George Kottaras Rumors

AL Notes: Royals, Happ, Matsuzaka, Longoria

The Royals will approach their upcoming roster decisions with the goal of preserving "inventory," Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes. That means keeping as many players in the system as possible, which in turn means that players who are out of options will have a better chance of making the team, so the Royals don't risk losing them. The following players are out of options: Bruce Chen, Jarrod Dyson, Jeremy Guthrie, J.C. Gutierrez, Brett Hayes, Luke Hochevar, Elliot Johnson, George Kottaras, Luis Mendoza and Felipe Paulino. Hayes, Kottaras and Adam Moore are battling to back up Salvador Perez at catcher. Since Moore has an option, he will likely return to the minor leagues, and the Royals will choose between Hayes and Kottaras, keeping one while potentially trading or losing the other. The many teams currently on the lookout for catching help will presumably be watching the Royals' situation closely. Here are more notes from the American League.

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Royals Claim George Kottaras

The Royals announced that they claimed catcher George Kottaras off of waivers from the Athletics. The A's had designated Kottaras for assignment to create roster space for John Jaso last week.

Kottaras hit nine home runs and posted a .211/.351/.415 batting line in 209 plate appearances last year. Oakland acquired the 29-year-old from the Brewers for Fautino De Los Santos in July. He'll earn $1MM in 2013 and will remain under team control as an arbitration eligible player through 2015.

A’s Designate George Kottaras For Assignment

The Athletics have designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment, according to a team press release.  The move was made to free up 40-man roster space for the newly-acquired John Jaso, who will take Kottaras' spot as Oakland's primary left-handed hitting catching option.

Kottaras was acquired in July from the Brewers and hit .212/.280/.471 in 93 PAs as an Athletic, giving him a total slash line of .211/.351/.415 in 209 plate appearances for the 2012 season.  Kottaras recently avoided arbitration by agreeing with the A's on a $1MM contract for 2013.

A’s, George Kottaras Avoid Arbitration

TUESDAY: Kottaras will earn $1MM in 2013, Jon Heyman of reports (on Twitter).

MONDAY: The Athletics announced that they avoided arbitration with catcher George Kottaras. The Lapa/Leventhal client agreed to a one-year deal for the 2013 season.

Kottaras had a projected salary of $1.1MM following a season in which he hit nine home runs and posted a .211/.351/.415 batting line in 209 plate appearances. Oakland acquired Kottaras from the Brewers for Fautino De Los Santos in July.

The A's have three remaining arbitration eligible players, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows: Jerry Blevins, Brandon Moss and Seth Smith.

Athletics To Acquire George Kottaras From Brewers

SUNDAY, 12:51am: The Brewers will receive right-handed reliever Fautino De Los Santos in the trade according to Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle. The 26-year-old pitched to a 7.25 ERA in 36 Triple-A innings this year and owns a 4.21 ERA with 11.4 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 in 36 1/3 big league innings with Oakland over the last two seasons.

SATURDAY, 3:05pm: The Brewers and Athletics have agreed on a trade to send catcher George Kottaras to Oakland, tweets Jon Heyman of  It's not yet known what the Brewers will receive in return.

Kottaras, 29, was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Thursday.  The catcher has a .209/.409/.360 slash line in 116 plate appearances this year for the Brewers.  In parts of five big league seasons, Kottaras owns a .221/.326/.402 batting line.  The Brewers replenished their catching depth this afternoon when they inked Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal for the catcher.

Brewers Nearing George Kottaras Deal With A’s

The Brewers are close to trading George Kottaras to the Athletics, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  Kottaras was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Thursday.

The 29-year-old has a has a .209/.409/.360 slash line in 116 plate appearances this year for the Brewers.  In parts of five big league seasons, Kottaras owns a .221/.326/.402 batting line.  The Brewers replentished their catching depth this afternoon when they inked Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal.

Brewers Designate George Kottaras For Assignment

6:55pm: GM Doug Melvin says that he is working on a trade involving Kottaras and hopes to complete it in a day or two, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel.

11:03am: The Brewers announced that they designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment. In related moves, Milwaukee activated catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the 15-day disabled list, optioned infielder Jeff Bianchi to Triple-A and selected the contract of right-hander Jim Henderson.

Kottaras, 29, figures to draw trade interest in the coming days, when teams such as the Mets and Nationals could inquire about possible deals. He has a .209/.409/.360 batting line in 116 plate appearances this year, thanks to an impressive 25% walk rate. In parts of five MLB seasons, Kottaras has a .221/.326/.402 batting line.

Rosenthal On Victorino, Red Sox, Braves, Brewers

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's round up the rumors…

  • The chances of the Phillies trading Shane Victorino may be greater than the chances of them trading Cole Hamels. The Dodgers, Reds, and possibly the Yankees could be fits for the outfielder, who originally asked Philadelphia for a five-year extension. They're unwilling to give him a contract that long.
  • The Red Sox are likely to be one of the most active teams at the trade deadline. If they keep Franklin Morales in the rotation, they're likely to seek another left-hander for the bullpen. They could also acquire a starter and shift Morales back into a relief role.
  • The Braves are not as adamant about not trading their top young pitchers as they were at this time last year mostly because there are more appealing choices on the market. They're looking for consistency and could part with one of Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, or Randall Delgado if they view someone like Matt Garza as a difference-maker.
  • The Brewers remain more likely to sell than not, but they would still like to return to contention quickly. They could ask for big league pitching instead of prospects for Zack Greinke, plus Francisco Rodriguez figures to have value on the trade market. GM Doug Melvin is getting calls about John Axford and Jose Veras, and the trio of Randy Wolf, George Kottaras, and Shaun Marcum (if healthy) remain trade bait.

Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the deadline and we'll keep track of them here:

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with Dana Eveland on a one-year, $750K deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Giants have agreed to terms with Mike Fontenot on a one-year deal for 2012, avoiding arbitration, MLBTR has learned. It's a $1.05MM deal, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Red Sox announced that they re-signed Matt Albers. He'll earn $1.075MM, according to Alex Speier of
  • The Padres agreed to terms with Chris Denorfia on a one-year deal, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link). The deal is worth $1.165MM, according to Ronald Blum of the AP
    The Pirates agreed to terms with Jason Grilli on a one-year, $1.1MM deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Rockies agreed to terms with Kevin Slowey on a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Slowey obtains $2.75MM from the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). MLBTR had projected a $2.7MM salary.
  • The Blue Jays agreed to sign Jeff Mathis to one-year deal that guarantees the backstop $1.5MM in 2012, MLBTR has learned. The Blue Jays have since confirmed the move.
  • The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Jesse Litsch (one-year, $975K) and Dustin McGowan (one-year, $600K) according to a team press release.
  • The Dodgers have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal.
  • The A's announced that they agreed to terms with Landon Powell, Daric Barton and Adam Rosales on one-year deals for 2012. The A's aren't non-tendering any arbitration eligible players this offseason. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears Barton will earn $1.1MM in 2012 (Twitter link). Rosales will earn $600K and Powell will earn $620K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Marlins signed Donnie Murphy to a contract for 2012, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). He'll earn $560K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Brewers announced that they signed George Kottaras to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. He'll earn $700K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Humberto Quintero, signing him to a one-year deal worth $1MM, according to the team. MLBTR had projected a $1.2MM salary for Quintero.
  • The Angels agreed to terms with right-hander Jerome Williams on a one-year deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Williams agreed to sign for $820K with $120K in incentives, according to's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
  • Skip Schumaker is nearing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.

Catching Top Priority For Giants; Kottaras Available

Obtaining catching help remains the Giants' top priority, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). One potential target is Brewers catcher George Kottaras, who is available according to Schulman. 

However, 21-year-old prospect Hector Sanchez has a .310/.375/.448 line in eight games at Triple-A since the Giants promoted him all the way from Class A earlier this month, so GM Brian Sabean does have one internal option. Eli Whiteside, who has picked up most of the playing time since Buster Posey's home plate collision, hasn't hit much. He has a .190/.278/.291 line this year and backup Chris Stewart hasn't done any better.

Kottaras, 28, has been backing up for the first place Brewers. He has a .290/.324/.516 line in 34 plate appearances in support of everyday catcher Jonathan Lucroy this year. In 396 career plate appearances, Kottaras has a .220/.306/.405 line, which compares pretty well with the average MLB catcher in 2011 (.241/.314/.379).