The Chicago Cubs have completed an unusual move today, releasing a player they signed this past offseason to have a prominent role in the clubhouse and on the field.
Per reports, the Cubs have released catcher George Kottaras, and now the backstop will have to find a new team where he will likely be headed for another backup role. Kottaras was signed this recent offseason to be behind Welington Castillo on the team’s depth chart, but it seems like things went south from there.
For anyone who’s been following the Cubs closely this spring, this is hardly a surprising move. Kottaras hadn’t been able to be a factor in calling the game nor on the offense, and with the need to have an experienced backstop who can be productive in a limited role, it was clear that Kottaras didn’t fit into the team’s plans. The strong performance of both John Baker and Eli Whiteside was also a factor in the decision, and now one of those two will likely backup Beef during the regular season.
Kottaras still has a lot of value since he’s a patient hitter with a good approach, and he can also be a presence in the clubhouse based on his experience. Sadly for him, he didn’t fit in the Cubs’ plans thanks to his poor showing this spring, and now the franchise will take another road deciding who will be Castillo’s backup once Opening Day arrives next week.