The Chicago Cubs have found their backup catcher, and it isn’t one of the usual suspects in free agency as many expected.
Per reports, the Cubs have signed former DFA’d Kansas City Royals catcher George Kottaras in a trade that will sent cash considerations to the AL franchise. Even though Kottaras will compete for the backup job in Spring Training and has no guarantees of getting the job if he doesn’t perform, he will have plenty of chances to show his value on a rebuilding team that fits his philosophy.
Despite the numbers he put up last season (.180/.349/.370), Kottaras fits the mold of what the Cubs are looking for in terms of plate discipline, as he has outstanding power for a player in his position (evidenced by .192 ISO power mark). He also has a well-above average 14 percent walk rate in his career. He has a lot of experience and could end up being a good mentor for Welington Castillo, who’s slated to be the long-term answer for the Cubs at the position.
There are concerns with Kottaras in terms of his strikeouts (33.3 percent last year) but he has shown the ability to handle a pitching staff. It’s clearly a good move from the Cubs’ front office, and he could end up putting together a good season at Wrigley Field, much like Dioner Navarro did last year.
The arrival of the 30-year-old backstop is clearly not the move many fans were hoping for as he’s not a marquee name by any means, but he’s a solid player that could end up playing a valuable role for the team going forward.