Results tagged ‘ George Kottaras ’
After getting a night off Tuesday in favor of Jonathan Lucroy — who made his first Major League start in the game — i catcher George Kottaras is back in the Brewers’ starting lineup for Wednesday’s game.
With lefties taking the mound on both sides, Jim Edmonds and Gregg Zaun will take a seat tonight in favor of Corey Hart and George Kottaras in right field and at catcher, respectively.
Eight-time Gold Glove-winning center fielder Jim Edmonds will make his first Brewers start there tonight, as the Brewers try to avoid a three-game Cardinals sweep on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. George Kottaras, as expected, is behind the plate.
Rickie Weeks 2B
Prince Fielder 1B
Corey Hart RF
The Brewers traded catcher Matt Treanor to the Rangers on Monday for Minor League infielder Ray Olmedo, a move that put George Kottaras on the inside track to open the season as Milwaukee’s backup catcher.
Third baseman Mat Gamel conceded this morning that he tried to come back too early from a sore right shoulder. Now it appears he will be sidelined a few more days.
The Brewers didn’t wait for the start of next week’s Winter Meetings to make their first Major League free agent signing.
The team on Friday inked switch-hitting catcher Gregg Zaun to a one-year deal with a club option for 2011 in a move that signaled the end of Jason Kendall’s tenure in Milwaukee. The sides reached terms late Thursday night and Zaun traveled to Milwaukee early Friday morning for a physical exam.
“It was an opportunity to play every day and I’m excited about that,” Zaun said. “I’m 38 years old and a lot of people have made assumptions about how much I can play, but I like that challenge. I’ll have to earn it every day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The Brewers were the most aggressive of Zaun’s suitors, and the financial package they offered didn’t hurt. Zaun, who earned $1.5 million last season from the Orioles and Rays, is guaranteed $2.15 million in his contract with the Brewers.
He’ll get a $1.9 million salary in 2010 with the opportunity to earn $600,000 more in bonuses based on games started. The Brewers hold a $2.25 million option for 2011 with a $250,000 buyout.
“They were aggressive early,” Zaun said. “It made me feel important to them.”
He will play an important role in 2010. Kendall had been Milwaukee’s regular catcher the past two seasons but he earned $5 million in 2009 and Brewers officials decided to go with a cheaper option.
The Brewers now have to decide how to line up Zaun’s backups. The incumbents include Mike Rivera, who has been Milwaukee’s back-up since 2006 but he’s arbitration-eligible this winter and can expect a bump in pay. The Brewers also claimed left-handed hitter George Kottaras off waivers from the Red Sox this fall and have a pair of catching prospects in Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy. If the team decides to promote Lucroy all the way from Double-A, a possibility already raised by general manager Doug Melvin, the experienced Zaun could help him break into the Majors.
Zaun has already played for eight teams in a 15-year career that began with the Orioles in 1995. He split 2009 between Baltimore, where he mentored stud catching prospect Matt Wieters, and Tampa Bay, where he finished the year after an August trade. In 90 games he was a .260 hitter with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.
Zaun is a Type B free agent and Tampa Bay offered him arbitration. Because he signed before Monday’s deadline for players to accept or decline the offer, the Rays will receive a compensatory pick between the first- and second rounds of next year’s Draft.
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Just wanted to correct something from several Wednesday articles published after the Brewers claimed catcher George Kottaras from the Boston Red Sox. I wrote in a couple of places that the move left the Brewers with 36 players on the 40-man roster, and while that eventually may prove true, at the moment it is not. Players claimed off release waivers have five days to decide whether to accept the claim and remain on the 40-man roster, or to decline and become a free agent.
As of this writing, Kottaras is still in that grey area. Unless he is sure that another team will offer him a place on its roster, he’ll probably accept and join the group of catchers under consideration by the Brewers for 2010.
Thanks to our Jonathan Mayo for asking why Major League Baseball is listing only 35 players on the roster, and to Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash for providing the quick answer. You learn a new roster rule every day.
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The Brewers added catching depth on Wednesday by claiming onetime Padres prospect George Kottaras off waivers from the Boston Red Sox.
Kottaras, 26 and a left-handed hitter, reportedly asked out of Boston after it became clear that Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek would be back in 2010. Kottaras appeared in 45 games with the Red Sox last season and batted .237 with one home run and 10 RBIs.
He is out of Minor League options, and joins catchers Mike Rivera and Angel Salome on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster. The Brewers also plan to give a long Spring Training look to prospect Jonathan Lucroy, whom general manager Doug Melvin mentioned this month as a candidate to jump from Double-A to the Majors in 2010.
Rivera, Salome and Lucroy are all right-handed hitters.
“If we can get better, then we’ll try to get better,” Melvin said. “We have to have depth. We have Salome and Lucroy, we have Kottaras and we still have Rivera, but we don’t have a front-line guy.”
That guy in the past two seasons was Jason Kendall, but Kendall cost $5 million in 2009 and Melvin made it clear to agent Arn Tellem that the Brewers didn’t intend to spend that much behind the plate next year.
Rivera is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, but Melvin wouldn’t say what the Brewers plans are for him next season. The team has until Dec. 12 to decide whether to tender Rivera a 2010 contract.
Asked for his thoughts about the team’s catching situation in general, Melvin said, “It’s too early to say what we’ll do. We haven’t gotten to the Winter Meetings. Free agency hasn’t even started yet so we can’t really talk to anyone.”
Teams own exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents for the 15 days following the World Series. They are free to negotiate with all free agents beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on Friday.
As recently as three years ago, Kottaras was rated the second-best prospect in San Diego’s organization by Baseball America. He was traded from San Diego to Boston late that year to complete the trade that sent pitcher David Wells to the Padres.
In seven Minor League seasons, Kottaras is a .269 hitter with 66 home runs and 289 RBIs. His best year was 2007, when he batted .243 for Boston’s Triple-A affiliate with a career-best 22 home runs and 65 RBIs in 107 games.
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