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Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:01 pm

Posted this on the main site but figured it fit better here...

While I'm sure the Tribe will stick with the opening day roster they have set...I would really love for them to take a long hard look at the recently released George Kottaras.

Quick glance at his Batting Average and would seem like a terrible guy to go after but he just always puts up a solid OBP thanks to an great walk rate. This spring was classic Kotteras as well with a .150 batting average in 20 ABs..but a .320 OBP thanks to 5 walks in 25 PAs. That 20% spring training walk rate may seem unsustainable...but posted a 19% walk rate in over 100 plate appearances in 2013 and nearly 18% in over 200 PAs in 2012.

Decent bat against RHP in his career too. Rare LHH catcher. IMO would be a nice 4th bench guy...gives you a real backup catcher and a guy you aren't afraid to start at times against RHP. Posted a .735 OPS against RHP last year (.340 OBP, .209 ISO) and for his career has a .749 OPS vs them (.319 OBP, .209 ISO). In the past 4 seasons Kottaras has amassed 708 PAs (so more than a full-season's worth but not a ton more)...and managed a 2.7 fWAR in that time. Not saying you give him a full season and he is a 2-win player but nearly been one the last two years alone.

Again, don't see it happening...but would feel a lot better about Santana at 3B with another option to backup Gomes. Totally understand not wanting to carrying another catcher simply to do it...but carrying a real backup catcher that is capable of starting? Love what Giambi brought last year...but really wonder if this team wouldn't be better off with a guy like Kottaras making $1M than Giambi on the bench making about $1M...
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby Chiefroy » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:36 am

Hermie13 wrote:Posted this on the main site but figured it fit better here...

While I'm sure the Tribe will stick with the opening day roster they have set...I would really love for them to take a long hard look at the recently released George Kottaras.

Quick glance at his Batting Average and would seem like a terrible guy to go after but he just always puts up a solid OBP thanks to an great walk rate. This spring was classic Kotteras as well with a .150 batting average in 20 ABs..but a .320 OBP thanks to 5 walks in 25 PAs. That 20% spring training walk rate may seem unsustainable...but posted a 19% walk rate in over 100 plate appearances in 2013 and nearly 18% in over 200 PAs in 2012.

Decent bat against RHP in his career too. Rare LHH catcher. IMO would be a nice 4th bench guy...gives you a real backup catcher and a guy you aren't afraid to start at times against RHP. Posted a .735 OPS against RHP last year (.340 OBP, .209 ISO) and for his career has a .749 OPS vs them (.319 OBP, .209 ISO). In the past 4 seasons Kottaras has amassed 708 PAs (so more than a full-season's worth but not a ton more)...and managed a 2.7 fWAR in that time. Not saying you give him a full season and he is a 2-win player but nearly been one the last two years alone.

Again, don't see it happening...but would feel a lot better about Santana at 3B with another option to backup Gomes. Totally understand not wanting to carrying another catcher simply to do it...but carrying a real backup catcher that is capable of starting? Love what Giambi brought last year...but really wonder if this team wouldn't be better off with a guy like Kottaras making $1M than Giambi on the bench making about $1M...



He has some nice HR ability which no doubt helps his OBP. But he also K's a whole lot and I think his OBP has been aided by where he hits in the lineup, normally 8th. Teams seem more likely to walk Kottaras and go after a number 9 hitter, rather than give up a 2- or 3-run shot. With bases empty and they went after him last season he struck out 26 times and had 5 walks in 58 ABs... for a .155 average, .234 OBP...5 solo shots. In the NL, he was drawing walks in front of the pitcher.

And he can't throw out runners very well, so his defense won't help us. Not that I'm real happy about a roster spot being used on Giambi, I just don't think Kottaras is much use to us either.
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:15 am

Chiefroy wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:Posted this on the main site but figured it fit better here...

While I'm sure the Tribe will stick with the opening day roster they have set...I would really love for them to take a long hard look at the recently released George Kottaras.

Quick glance at his Batting Average and would seem like a terrible guy to go after but he just always puts up a solid OBP thanks to an great walk rate. This spring was classic Kotteras as well with a .150 batting average in 20 ABs..but a .320 OBP thanks to 5 walks in 25 PAs. That 20% spring training walk rate may seem unsustainable...but posted a 19% walk rate in over 100 plate appearances in 2013 and nearly 18% in over 200 PAs in 2012.

Decent bat against RHP in his career too. Rare LHH catcher. IMO would be a nice 4th bench guy...gives you a real backup catcher and a guy you aren't afraid to start at times against RHP. Posted a .735 OPS against RHP last year (.340 OBP, .209 ISO) and for his career has a .749 OPS vs them (.319 OBP, .209 ISO). In the past 4 seasons Kottaras has amassed 708 PAs (so more than a full-season's worth but not a ton more)...and managed a 2.7 fWAR in that time. Not saying you give him a full season and he is a 2-win player but nearly been one the last two years alone.

Again, don't see it happening...but would feel a lot better about Santana at 3B with another option to backup Gomes. Totally understand not wanting to carrying another catcher simply to do it...but carrying a real backup catcher that is capable of starting? Love what Giambi brought last year...but really wonder if this team wouldn't be better off with a guy like Kottaras making $1M than Giambi on the bench making about $1M...



He has some nice HR ability which no doubt helps his OBP. But he also K's a whole lot and I think his OBP has been aided by where he hits in the lineup, normally 8th. Teams seem more likely to walk Kottaras and go after a number 9 hitter, rather than give up a 2- or 3-run shot. With bases empty and they went after him last season he struck out 26 times and had 5 walks in 58 ABs... for a .155 average, .234 OBP...5 solo shots. In the NL, he was drawing walks in front of the pitcher.

And he can't throw out runners very well, so his defense won't help us. Not that I'm real happy about a roster spot being used on Giambi, I just don't think Kottaras is much use to us either.


Well if Kottaras was in a Tribe uniform he'd be batting in the 8th or 9th spot too so wouldn't the same logic apply? In limited time in the 9th spot was actually better than the 8th spot. Don't think it was simply being walked to get to the 9th guy. He simply has a good eye and doesn't swing at bad pitches. He actually had a better OBP in the 7th spot the year before too than the 8th spot (though samples for both year are too small to really take anything from it). Then again that patience is a double-edged sword as he can lay off too many hittable pitches and aids in the high strikeout rate.


Kottaras isn't a defensive whiz behind the plate by any stretch, but has rated out much better than Santana over the last 3 years, so you actually would be improving the defense behind the plate by having him catch in lieu of Santana (who by some counts rated as the worst defensive catcher in all of baseball last year). Does struggle throwing out runners (though was league average last year) but makes up for in other aspects (been solid at blocking balls in the dirt for the most part).

The improvement with respect to Kottaras isn't so much from what he brings offensively or defensively but from allowing Santana to focus solely on 3B....something that has helped guys like Josh Donaldson and Pablo Sandoval move from behind the plate to 3B with great success.
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby GeronimoSon » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:48 am

Hermie13 wrote: ...allowing Santana to focus solely on 3B....something that has helped guys like Josh Donaldson and Pablo Sandoval move from behind the plate to 3B with great success...


-the only part of the argument that makes sense.. the rest of it.. inclusive of adding/wanting Kottaras as a back up catcher or being on the roster.. dumping Giambi...etc.. makes zero sense..

If the Indians FO believed that adding a back up catcher will improve Carlos Santana's ability to play 3B (like the cases mentioned), then real competition or a candidate for being the co-starting catcher (POSSIBLY in the form of catchers like Francisco Cervelli or Yasmani Grandl or Josmil Pinto) should be considered.. George Kottaras just doesn't bring enough of anything to the table that would award him a coveted twenty five man roster spot...
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby GeronimoSon » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:49 am

Hermie13 wrote: ...allowing Santana to focus solely on 3B....something that has helped guys like Josh Donaldson and Pablo Sandoval move from behind the plate to 3B with great success...


-the only part of the argument that makes sense.. the rest of it.. inclusive of adding/wanting Kottaras as a back up catcher or being on the roster.. dumping Giambi...etc.. makes zero sense..

If the Indians FO believed that adding a back up catcher will improve Carlos Santana's ability to play 3B (like the cases mentioned), then real competition or a candidate for being the co-starting catcher (POSSIBLY in the form of catchers like Francisco Cervelli or Yasmani Grandl or Josmil Pinto) should be considered.. George Kottaras just doesn't bring enough of anything to the table that would award him a coveted twenty five man roster spot...
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:13 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:
Hermie13 wrote: ...allowing Santana to focus solely on 3B....something that has helped guys like Josh Donaldson and Pablo Sandoval move from behind the plate to 3B with great success...


-the only part of the argument that makes sense.. the rest of it.. inclusive of adding/wanting Kottaras as a back up catcher or being on the roster.. dumping Giambi...etc.. makes zero sense..

If the Indians FO believed that adding a back up catcher will improve Carlos Santana's ability to play 3B (like the cases mentioned), then real competition or a candidate for being the co-starting catcher (POSSIBLY in the form of catchers like Francisco Cervelli or Yasmani Grandl or Josmil Pinto) should be considered.. George Kottaras just doesn't bring enough of anything to the table that would award him a coveted twenty five man roster spot...


I wouldn't mind any of those guys either, and have mentioned Cervelli as an option several times on this site as well.

However, fail to see how Cervelli would be a better "co-starting catcher" with Gomes than Kattaras would be. Kattaras has arguably been better than Cervelli. Plus both Gomes and Cervelli hit LHP a lot better than RHP...Kottaras on the other hand has done well against righties in this career. Defensively neither guy really sets the world on fire. Cervelli hasn't looked the same since the injuries but maybe they are behind him.

Now I'm not saying Cervelli is a bad option to pair with Gomes. Again, said many times on here that I'd like to grab him if the price was right. While he hits lefties better than righties same as Gomes...could in theory then platoon him with Chiz. Gomes could DH on his "off days" against lefties and Cervelli could catch (Santana playing 3B full-time in this scenario). One reason though I like Kottaras a bit more is that he can start against righties better and allows you to completely rest Gomes (he'll need to flat out sit a few games a year really). Again though, would not mind Cervelli...but personally prefer Kottaras (though not by a lot).

The other two...kind of out of no-where options. Grandal is still highly thought of by the Padres...don't think the Tribe would want to give up the specs it'd take to grab him to sit on the bench 100+ games a year. Pinto is in our own division and playing for the Twins big league club...even if he were available not sure you could get him, at least not without giving up something decent to a division rival. Yes realized you said these guys were "possible" options but really don't think the last two are that possible at all. Cervelli yes, but the other two...never say never I guess.

Thing Kottaras would have brought too is he is a free agent, only costs money...Cervelli, Grandal, Pinto...these guys would require a trade. So while I like the Cervelli option a lot (almost as much as Kottaras)...just think the Tribe would have been better served getting the free agent than making a trade. May have been able to stash Kottaras in AAA too.

I'd be open to several catching options out there... :cool
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby criznit2009 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:23 am

I am not over interested in adding a 3rd catcher (well a FA one) right now, for a couple of reasons.
Though I think Gomes will have a good (read great) season, it's important to keep Santana playing some catcher. Reason #1 - If Gomes gets injured, Santana has to slide back behind the plate, or you start someone like Kattaras? Reason #2 - If for some impossible reason Gomes totally collapses at the plate or in the field, Santana has to be able to step back in and take over in case of this highly unlikely scenario....#3 - Chisenhall works himself into more playing time at 3rd due to finally producing nicely at the plate. Santana then moves to DH and back up catcher.. I am fine with that. #4 - the most implausible IMO - The rigors of playing 3rd and back up catcher work Santana into a tailspin.. He is moved to DH and back up catcher.

If I am looking at FA back-up catchers (read 3rd catcher) who in all likelihood would not play very much at all.... I think I am more interested in a guy like Shoppach. But really I am not interested in signing anyone like these guys to play back up catcher, I don't think it will be too much of an issue for now. However, I am much more interested in trading for a "good" back up catcher so I would be open to that. But for now, I think it is in the teams best interest to keep rolling with Santana as the back up catcher. Now perhaps they could find a way to get a more ML realistic option in AAA as an emergency. Hold now, listen to trade ideas/offers, they have a bit of time to make some changes if needed IMO.

Though I am not sure, the list of current FA catchers is well, what you would expect. Surely there has to be some fringy/better guys who might be available for some cash/or player deal, or a wire claim? Seems to me that finding a guy that we can play in AAA and is more of a ML player than our current guys down there could actually be achieved without too much trouble....
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby Chiefroy » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:59 am

Well Hermie nailed that one. Tribe sign Kottaras to minor deal. :redface
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Re: Official 2013 Off-Season Thread (Rumors & Notes)

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:28 am

Still surprised the Rangers didn't nab him first but love the signing for the Tribe (obviously). A backup catcher that can pinch hit and even start at DH at times if needed. Good option to have around. Curious if he has an opt out or not (assuming no since he's still arbitration eligible but still not 100% sure how the new rules worth with this).
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