CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs today acquired catcher George Kottaras from Kansas City for a cash consideration.
Kottaras, 30, last season served as the Royals back-up catcher after he was claimed off waivers from Oakland in January. He started 29 games behind the plate, hitting .180 (18-for-100) with four doubles, five home runs and 12 RBI. He drew 24 walks in just 126 plate appearances, the most in the majors among players with 150 plate appearances or fewer. Kottaras' .349 on-base percentage was sixth-highest among A.L. catchers (min. 40 games).
The left-handed hitting Kottaras, who was designated for assignment by the Royals on November 22, has batted .214 (148-for-692) with 40 doubles, three triples, 29 home runs and 96 RBI in 295 major league games with Boston (2008-09), Milwaukee (2010-12), Oakland (2012) and Kansas City (2013). He has a .324 on-base percentage, thanks in part to 115 walks in 820 plate appearances, and a .991 fielding percentage (13 E/1,422 TC) in 231 games behind the plate.
In 2012, Kottaras tied his career mark with nine home runs (first done in 2010 with the Brewers) between Milwaukee and Oakland, including six long balls in 27 games for the Athletics following a July 29 trade. In his final full season with Milwaukee in 2011, he hit for the cycle, September 3 at Houston, becoming just the third catcher to accomplish the feat in the live ball era.
Originally selected by San Diego in the 20th round of the 2002 draft, Kottaras is a native of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. In 2004, he played for Greece in the Olympic Games in Athens.