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Bad Move

Boston+Red+Sox+v+Los+Angeles+Angels+Anaheim+1VL5HZDl2h3l      The Red Sox put backup catcher George Kottaras on unconditional release waivers Wednesday, ending the young catcher's short stay in Boston. He was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Kottaras, 27, served mainly as kuckleballer Tim Wakefield's primary catcher for 2009, when Wake had his best season in years, when healthy.

     This strikes me as a bad move for several reasons:

     1, The kid has potential. I know I'm not Theo Epstein and don't have a details of George Kottaras' birth on hand, but it is a commonly accepted fact that the average player hits his prime at 27 years of age. So, it's safe to say George could have gotten significantly better, especially if trusted with playing time. Kottaras hit just .237 in 2009, but slugged an admirable .387, cinsidering the average. However, Kottaras had a track record of success in the minor leagues. He hit 22 home runs in limited playing time at AAA Pawtucket in 2008, slugging .456. He had a career MiL OPS of .811, a healthy number. Considering with more playing time and age, Kottaras could have potentially hit this well at the major-league level, i think it was fool hardy to spin him off now.

     2. This ensures that Jason Varitek is the backup catcher in 2010. Sigh. So now who catches Wakefield? I don't want to see Varitek do it. He hasn't caught Tim-May since what, 2004 (from memory), when he allowed 3 passed balls in just a short time in that playoff game against New York. Do you make your starting catcher, a below-average defensive catcher to begin with, who already has to spend time at first to rest his legs, does he catch Tim-May? I don't know what the answer is because the Red Sox released him.

     3. This move assumes the Red Sox have a plan for the future of the catcher position. This 'plan', I would assume entails one of three options:
         3.a) Joe Mauer. Only problem here is it's a $25 M a year investment. That's an issue.
         3.b) Victor Martinez. He'll be 32 by the time 2011 rolls around, has caught hundreds of games and already needs days off. And, as with Mauer, there's no guarantee of signing him.
         3.c) Luis Exposito. Sure, I love the kid, but do you want to put your fate in the hands of a prospect? Any prospect?
     I had it all mapped out. V-Mart would catch this year, move to first base or another team next year, Kottaras would catch full-time in 2011, then Exposito would take over in 2012. But nooo, that makes too much sense, apparently.

       I hope, I really hope, that Kottaras (who may get a chance to fight for a starting spot this spring) hits 25 homers for the Brewers, and becomes an All-Star catcher.

     Thanks, Jason Varitek,



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