On Friday afternoon, the Royals claimed catcher George Kottaras off waivers from the Oakland Athletics after he’d been designated for assignment just over a week ago.
We discussed Kottaras at length when he became available and for a backup, he’s a nice pickup. According to Bob Dutton, he’ll compete with Brett Hayes for the backup catcher job. If he only had to play 30 games (assuming Salvador Perez stayed healthy all year), his defensive liabilities would be minimized but the Royals wouldn’t drop nearly as much production at the plate from the catcher position on Perez’s off days.
Kottaras is a high-walk, good-power hitter and bats left-handed. That he was claimed when the Royals seemed comfortable with Hayes previously suggests to me that he’s the favorite to backup Perez in 2013.
Tony Abreu was designated for assignment to make room on the 40 man roster for Kottaras. He gets dropped because Irving Falu has options remaining and allows for greater roster flexibility for the Royals.
Kottaras will make $1 million in 2013 after signing a contract after he and the A’s avoided arbitration prior to his designation for assignment.