Kottaras trade to Oakland near completion

BY foxsports • July 28, 2012

MILWAUKEE — After being designated for assignment Thursday due to impressive production by fellow catcher Martin Maldonado, the Brewers' George Kottaras is on the brink of being dealt to the Oakland Athletics, according to FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed Saturday that Kottaras was close to being dealt to Oakland, but he said the trade likely wouldn't be officially done until Sunday. Kottaras also said that he had heard of the deal but that the details hadn't been finalized.

Teams are given 10 days to trade a player after he is designated for assignment, and Milwaukee made it clear that it would try to give Kottaras the opportunity to compete at the major league level instead of being demoted to Triple A.

And with the Athletics desperate for help behind the plate — starting catcher Kurt Suzuki has struggled mightily all season and is batting .213 — Kottaras may even get the chance to contribute on an everyday basis in Oakland.

"If that goes through, it definitely makes me happy," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday. "George is a major league catcher. To think about what he's done for us last year and this year, and for him to have to go back to Triple A, that would bother me."

After batting .252 last season and serving as a key piece on the bench during last season's second half, Kottaras struggled to stay consistent for the Brewers in his third year with the team. He was batting just .209 with three home runs and 12 RBI when he was designated on Thursday. He started out the year as one of the team's hottest hitters but has batted just .175 with no homers and three RBI since May.

Roenicke said that slump might have been a product of getting very few reps, as Kottaras only was in the lineup as Randy Wolf's personal catcher and as a late-inning pinch hitter.

"We were playing him every fifth day," Roenicke said. "Somewhere, wherever he goes and ends up, hopefully he'll get some more at-bats. . . . I think the less amount of at-bats you get, the possibility of it going bad is very likely."

To counter the potential loss of Kottaras in the system, the Brewers signed catcher Humberto Quintero — most recently of Kansas City — to a minor-league contract. Melvin said Quintero is expected to be the everyday catcher at Triple-A Nashville.

As for other potential moves before Tuesday's trade deadline, Melvin wouldn't rule out the possibility that the team may make a trade in addition to trying to move Kottaras on the heels of shipping Zack Greinke to the Angels on Friday. However, he hinted that the Brewers weren't seeking out any potential deals in the time remaining.

"I don't anticipate anything," Melvin said. "You always look to try and shore up your club, but there's nothing I'm saying is a priority at this time."

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