George Kottaras Rumors
SUNDAY: The Angels are said to like Chris Snyder and Ramon Hernandez with ex-Angel Bobby Wilson, in camp with the Yankees, an interesting possibility, tweets Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez adds Rod Barajas and Wil Nieves, both with the Diamondbacks, and Brett Hayes and George Kottaras, both with the Royals, as other possibilities.
FRIDAY: The Angels "have been out looking for a backup catcher," tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
The team entered the spring hoping that former high-end prospect Hank Conger would lay claim to the back-up spot behind starter Chris Iannetta. As Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times explored back in February, the team was also considering two journeymen, John Hester and Luke Carlin. Still young at 25 and offering a natural complement to Iannetta's right-handed bat, Conger seemed the obvious choice if he could move past his history of inconsistency and injury.
Despite Conger's excellent start on the offensive side of the plate this spring, however, he has struggled behind the dish. While manager Mike Scioscia has previously expressed confidence that Conger would rein in his wildness in the throwing game, Conger made three errors with his arm last Sunday. Entering his final option year, the Angels could elect to allow Conger to work out his issues back in Triple-A Salt Lake. For their part, Hester and Carlin have limited track records at the major league level and are sporting anemic batting lines in pre-season action.
If the Halos are unwilling to let Conger test his arm in a real game, the club may be looking at limited options for an upgrade. A glance at MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker reveals Matt Treanor as the lone unsigned, free agent backstop. Barring a more significant trade, the Angels could consider dealing (or scouring the waiver wire) for a more established option as teams like the Diamondbacks and Rockies decide which of their veteran catching options will make their opening day rosters.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
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.
- Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ is unhappy with the possibility of beginning the season in the bullpen or at Triple-A Buffalo, and he will "probably" speak to GM Alex Anthopoulos about it, CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports. Happ got bumped from the Jays' rotation plans when they traded for Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey this offseason.
- Indians pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched three innings in a minor-league game on Saturday, but he's running out of time to make the team, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Matsuzaka left his previous start after one inning with a calf injury. Matsuzaka is a Type XX(B) free agent, so the Indians have to decide by March 26 whether to add him to their 25-man roster. If they don't, Matsuzaka can ask to be released, or can accept a minor-league assignment with a $100K retention bonus and an opt-out date of June 1. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that the Indians will likely go with a rotation of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Myers, Zach McAllister and Scott Kazmir, in which case Matsuzaka wouldn't make the team.
- Evan Longoria is aware of the big expectations associated with the six-year, $100MM contract extension he signed with the Rays in November, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "It's an insane number," says Longoria. "I feel the same way that I felt with the last contract, but there's just, I don't know if there could be more of a desire, but there is still obviously a strong, strong desire to live up to it."
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.
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.
TUESDAY: Kottaras will earn $1MM in 2013, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com 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.
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 CBSSports.com. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 WEEI.com.
- 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 MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
- Skip Schumaker is nearing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.