Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Farewell George Kottaras, We Hardly Knew Ye

The Red Sox released Kottaras today. The 26-year-old catcher was out of options and couldn't be sent to the minors again.

Kottaras hit .237 last season in only 93 at-bats, an exceptionally small sample size.

Playing once a week as Tim Wakefield's personal catcher gave him no chance to develop a rhythm and prove himself.

Then Kottaras was placed on the disabled list on August 2, after suffering back spasms.

That happened to coincide with Wakefield going on the DL and the arrival of Victor Martinez. In truth, it was more than coincidence; the club needed to make room on the 25-man roster.

And that's what Kottaras was up against again this time; not enough room on the 40-man roster.

It's still unclear how Kottaras would fare over a full season at the Major League level, and what kind of hitter he might yet become. The scouting report on Kottaras notes that he has "20-home run power potential and good plate discipline," and that he is a "hard worker."

Kottaras will likely find a job elsewhere, as catchers are in short supply at the Major League level.

If you remember, Kottaras was the player the Sox got from the Padres in exchange for David Wells. Kottaras was highly regarded in the Padres' system, and the Red Sox thought they were getting the catcher of the future, the heir apparent to Jason Varitek.

It's doubtful that Kottaras' release will change the Sox interest in any catcher outside the organization this year. They've already got $10M invested in two catchers (Martinez and Varitek) for the 2010 season.

If they need a third catcher, they'll turn to either Dusty Brown or Mark Wagner, who are already in their system.

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