The Kansas City Royals have already begun trimming down their payroll total with some roster cuts, and there could be many more in the near future. All teams must decide whether or not to tender contracts to players eligible for arbitration before December 2, so look for KC to keep altering the roster throughout the coming weeks.
Today, we’re saying goodbye to the team’s “Greek God of Walks” and analyzing his impact on the team in 2013. Last year’s primary backup catcher George Kottaras was recently released, which was to be expected after the Royals signed minor-leaguer Francisco Pena to a major league contract. Kottaras was a well-liked veteran with solid defense and game-calling skills.
What the Royals won’t miss about George is his mediocrity in the batter’s box. While he did induce a strangely high walk total as his nickname would indicate, Kottaras hit only .180 in 2013 with four home runs and five doubles.
KC should have a significant offensive upgrade in Pena, whose numbers in the minor leagues were consistent enough for the Royals to offer him a major league contract for 2014. Even Brett Hayes, who’s also on the current 40-man roster as a backup catcher, has recorded a .220 batting average and averaged 10 HRs and 27 doubles per 162 games.
Kottaras, who previously played for the Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox, has already found a new home in MLB. On November 26, KC traded him to the Chicago Cubs for cash considerations. As his Twitter account would indicate, Kottaras seems to be widely respected and well-liked by his teammates wherever he goes, and Chicago should be no exception.