|Chicago Cubs – No. 9|
May 10, 1983 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Right|
|September 13, 2008 for the Boston Red Sox|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||96|
George Kottaras (born May 10, 1983) is a Canadian professional baseball catcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. Kottaras attended Milliken Mills High School in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
Professional baseball career
San Diego Padres
Kottaras was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 20th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Padres in May 2003 after spending one year at Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma.
Kottaras began his professional career playing for the Idaho Falls Padres of the Pioneer League, and worked his way up through the Padres minor league system to the Triple-A Portland Beavers in 2006. He played in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game for Team World and was named number 48 in the 2006 Minor League News FAB50 List.
Boston Red Sox
On September 5, 2006, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox to complete an August 31 deal for David Wells and was immediately added to the team's 40-man roster. He was assigned to the Red Sox Double A franchise, the Portland Sea Dogs, who had just begun their Eastern League playoff run. Kottaras arrived for Game 2 of Eastern League Division Playoffs and continued playing with the Sea Dogs until they were crowned 2006 Eastern League Champions.
Kottaras played the entire 2007 season for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He reported for spring training in 2008 but was optioned back to Pawtucket on March 17, 2008. Kottaras played the regular and post season 2008 schedule for Pawtucket, but after Pawtucket was eliminated from the International League playoffs he was called up to Boston.
On September 8, 2008, he was called up from Pawtucket and on September 13, 2008, he made his major league debut in the 6th inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays and scored the only run for the Red Sox that game.
In 2009 Kottaras became knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield's personal catcher; as Jason Varitek normally catches for the other pitchers in the rotation. After Wakefield went on the disabled list post All-Star break, Kottaras followed suit with a lower back strain. He remained with Pawtucket until call ups on September 1. With Wakefield's first start in September, Red Sox manager Terry Francona had to decide whether or not to start Kottaras due to his familiarity with Wakefield or Víctor Martínez due to his bat and making one start with Wakefield in which he caught the knuckleball very well for the first time.
Kottaras hit his first major league home run on July 3, 2009, against the Seattle Mariners' Mark Lowe in the bottom of the 11th. For the season, he finished fifth in the league in passed balls, with 8 in 39 games.
Kottaras was released by the Red Sox on November 18, 2009.
On September 3, 2011, Kottaras hit for the cycle in a game against the Houston Astros, becoming the 7th Brewer to do so. Kottaras is the 3rd Brewers catcher to achieve the feat, along with Chad Moeller and Charlie Moore.
In 2011, he batted .252 and hit 5 home runs in 111 at bats.
On December 12, 2011, Kottaras avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal. He was designated for assignment on July 26, 2012.
On July 27, 2012, Kottaras was traded to Oakland for pitcher Fautino de los Santos.
On January 14, 2013, Kottaras had agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. Just a day after agreeing to a one-year contract, Kottaras was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for the newly acquired John Jaso.
Kansas City Royals
On January 25, 2013, Kottaras was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals. In 2013, his locker was assigned next to Mike Moustakas, who is also of Greek descent. "I don't know how many times you've had two Greek guys in the same clubhouse on the same team," Kottaras said. "And they put us next to each other, which makes it even better."  He was designated for assignment on November 21, 2013.
On December 2, 2013, Kottaras signed a one-year deal with the Cubs for just over $1 million, avoiding arbitration.
In 2004 Kottaras played for Greece's national baseball team during the 2004 Summer Olympics. His eligibility came from his parents, both of whom are Greek immigrants to Canada. During the Olympics, Kottaras served as first baseman and backup catcher.
- Kaegel, Dick Moustakas, Kottaras proud of Greek heritage MLB.com, April 11, 2013. Accessed April 28, 2013.
- "George Kottaras". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
- "# 48 – George Kottaras". Minor League News. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
- "Red Sox acquire catcher to complete Wells trade". ESPN. September 5, 2006. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
- "#26 George Kottaras". Soxprospects.com. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
- "Kottaras at home with Sea Dogs". milb.com. September 8, 2006. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Hayakawa, Mike (August 21, 2008). "Baseball in Kottaras' blood". The Markham Economist and Sun.
- Steve Buckley (September 9, 2008). "Club calls up catcher George Kottaras for 1st big league stint". Boston Herald. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
- "Red Sox recall C George Kottaras and 1B-OFChris Carter from Pawtucket". Boston Red Sox (MLB). September 8, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2008.
- Hayakawa, Mike (September 18, 2008). "Markham ball player joins big league team". Markham Economist and Sun. p. 27.
- "Wakefield set to pitch tomorrow – Extra Bases". Boston.com. September 4, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "George Kottaras Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- Speier, Alex. Kottaras released, Cabrera elects free agency, WEEI. Published November 18, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
- Sports Network . Published November 18, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
- Witrado, Anthony. Cain and Rivas added to 40-man roster; Kottaras claimed, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Published November 18, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
- Rosiak, Todd (December 12, 2011). "Brewers, Kottaras agree on one-year deal". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- "C George Kottaras Claimed off Waivers by Kansas City". MLB.com. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- Rogers, Jesse (November 26, 2013). "Cubs acquire C George Kottaras". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
- Twitter / JonHeymanCBS: George Kottaras settles with #cubs. $1.075M plus incentives.
- Evan Mohl (June 1, 2007). "Kottaras finds place to hang mask". MLB.com. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
- "Greek team gets first-ever victory". ESPN. August 21, 2004. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Kottaras.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Kottaras at CBS Sportsline
- Sox Prospects
- Kottaras at MinorLeagueSplits.com
- George Kottaras on Twitter