Cubs acquire catcher Kottaras from Royals
Chicago gets left-handed hitter to replace Navarro as Castillo's backup
CHICAGO -- Dioner Navarro posted career numbers last season as the Cubs' backup catcher, but he is now a free agent and the team decided to go a different direction, acquiring George Kottaras from the Royals for a cash consideration.
Kottaras, 30, was the Royals' backup catcher last season after he was claimed off waivers from the Athletics in January. He started 29 games and hit .180 with four doubles, five home runs and 12 RBIs. Kottaras' .349 on-base percentage was sixth-highest among American League catchers.
Navarro batted .300 in 89 games with the Cubs, hitting a career-high 13 home runs and driving in 34 runs as a backup to Welington Castillo, who will be the team's starter again in 2014.
Kottaras, a left-handed hitter, was designated for assignment by the Royals on Friday. He has batted .214 with 40 doubles, three triples, 29 home runs and 96 RBIs in 295 Major League games with the Red Sox (2008-09), Brewers (2010-12), Athletics (2012) and Royals (2013).
In 2012, Kottaras tied his career mark with nine home runs between the Brewers and Athletics, including six in 27 games for the Athletics following a July 29 trade. In his final full season with Milwaukee in 2011, he hit for the cycle Sept. 3 at Houston, becoming the third catcher to do so in the live-ball era.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.