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Arbitration Avoidation: George Kottaras

January 14, 2013

UPDATE: The deal was a one-year $1.0M deal through the 2013 season. So I am totally fine with this as it comes in under the projected arbitration and is a very reasonable salary that gives the A’s a lot of value.

A’s catcher George Kottaras has avoided arbitration with the A’s signing a one-year deal to cover the 2013 season. The terms of the deal for the Toronto native are unknown but he was projected to earn $1.1M in arbitration. Kottaras, who is 29, played 85 games in 2012 amassing 209 plate appearances, of those 27 games and 93 plate appearances were with Oakland with the balance being from his time with the Brewers. Acquired from Milwaukee for Fautino De Los Santos on July 29th, Kottaras batted .212/.280/.471 for the A’s with nine home runs for a .322 wOBA, 105 wRC+ and 0.4 WAR . It appears as if he will split time with Derek Norris in 2013.

I have no real qualms with the re-upping of Kottaras and should he be signed at around the $1.1M mark I would have no issues in the least. nine home runs in 209 plate appearances is a strong figure and he is good pop off the bench for the A’s. That said, the entire catching situation is a bit concerning entering the season due to the limited exposure Norris has had, Kottaras’ lack of consistency, and the very big lack of options beyond those two. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some giant sort of platoon in play with Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore sharing second base duties, leading Sizemore to share third base duties with Josh Donaldson who in turn could share catching responsibilities. But even that two-headed monster seems unfeasible and messy. Once terms of the deal are clarified, I can add on whether or not I feel it is a bargain or overpay but anything between $1.0M and $1.4M would seem reasonable in my mind.

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