Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another Possible Catching Option

I have to imagine the Yankees would have been in on him if Oakland decided to non-tender him, so it was a bit of a downer when the A's tendered a contract offer to George Kottaras before Friday's deadline.  Kottaras has flown under the radar a bit the last few seasons in Milwaukee and then Oakland, but has steadily improved his offensive and defensive games to the point that he can be a useful, productive semi-everyday player.

Looking at his recent statistical profile, Kottaras projects as a mini-Russell Martin.  He doesn't hit for a lot of average (.220 career) but he can draw walks at a well above-average rate (13.1%) and has posted ISO values over .200 in each of the last 2 seasons.  He hit .211/.351/.415 (.339 wOBA) in 2012, with a 17.7% BB rate, and had 1.2 fWAR in less than half the PA of Martin.  He's not going to make any All Star Games, but Kottaras would be a better all-around catching option than anything the Yankees have in-house.

The problem is that now that he's been offered a contract, it would take a prospect to get him rather than just a small-dollar contract.  It wouldn't be a high-level prospect, but the Yankees haven't shown any outward interest in dealing anything in a trade yet this offseason.  Billy Beane is always open to a deal, though, so Kottaras is at least worth Cash putting a call in.