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A’s Acquire George Kottaras

July 28, 2012

UPDATE 4:09PM PDT: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the move may not be completed today pending another move by the A’s. Unclear what that move could be. Could Suzuki be on the move?

The A’s have acquired Milwaukee Brewers catcher George Kottaras. It is not yet clear what the A’s will have to send to Milwaukee in return but the expectation is that whatever it is, it will not be very much. The combination of Kurt Suzuki and Derek Norris (and prior to that Anthony Recker and Josh Donaldson), have not been productive in the least this year as the A’s have received a .198/.250/.269 slash line out of their backstops in 2012. Kottaras, though designated for assignment by Milwaukee last week, fits very well into the A’s needs, as despite a low batting average (.209) he has a phenomenal on base percentage (.409), draws a ton of walks (25.0% BB%) and has a stellar wOBA (.352) and wRC+ (122). In many ways it is a wonder why Milwaukee would part with him to begin with. On the year he has been worth 0.8 WAR for the Brew Crew.

I suppose the corresponding move is that Norris will be sent back to Sacramento. I wonder just how much of the starting role will be taken over by Kottaras as Suzuki has lost significant playing time to Norris (deservedly so in terms of Suzuki’s play, less deservedly so in terms of how Norris himself has played) but I imagine he will get a fair chunk of playing time. While we do not yet know what is headed back to Milwaukee, I think it is safe to say none of the players will be significant pieces so this from the onset looks like a classic Billy Beane move where he improves the ballclub significantly with minimal expenditure.

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