The Kansas City announced today that they had claimed catcher George Kottaras off waivers from the Oakland Athletics after he had been designated for assignment last week to make room for John Jaso. There was some thought that Kottaras might be able to be turned into come kind of low impact prospect, but that was apparently not the case. This result is at least better than flat out releasing him and having to pay his salary. For a team like the Athletics, even saving $1 million is important.
Today’s news of Kottaras’ departure could never be categorized as big news, surprising news, or new that will have a great impact on the prospects for the Athletics 2013 season. Kottaras was a small cog in the machine that won the AL West in 2012, but without that cog the machine can still run smoothly. The fact of the matter is this, the A’s replaced the Kottaras cog with a shiny new John Jaso edition cog that will theoretically make the machine run that much more efficiently. Kottaras had become a part of the A’s family, but GM Billy Beane isn’t concerned about that in this case, his job is to improve the team by any means necessary.
But I would like to take the chance to recognize the contributions George Kottaras made to the Athletics in his very brief career in Oakland. His 6 home runs, that doubled the output he had given the Milwaukee Brewers, came at crucial moments.
August 8th vs. Angels: He took Zack Greinke deep as part of a 4 run 2nd inning as the A’s out slugged the Halo’s 9-8.
August 31st vs. Red Sox: Went deep twice and drove in 5 as the A’s slaughtered the reeling Red Sox 20-2.
September 7th vs. Mariners: Crushed a 3 run homer off of Felix Hernandez to propel the A’s to a huge win coming off a sweep at the hands of the Angels at home.
September 8th vs. Mariners: Took Hisashi Iwakuma deep in a 4 run 4th inning as the A’s beat the M’s for the second straight game.
September 25th vs. Rangers: His 10th inning blast off of Mark Lowe put the A’s in the win column and gave the team a real fighting chance to take the division from the Rangers, which they did.
So while George Kottaras may not have torn the cover off the ball very often, he was able to pick his spots and give the A’s a lift when they needed it. He’ll be fondly remembered for that undoubtedly. Perhaps now he can make the same contribution for a young up and coming Royals team, just not against the Athletics.