George Kottaras is not a sexy signing. He's not Jarrod Saltalamacchia and he's not Brian McCann. If we take this at surface value Kottaras is a .214 hitting part time catcher with a good defensive reputation. Seems a bit like Damian Miller.
But he's not just that.
Kottaras has a damn good eye. Last year in 126 PAs Kottaras hit .180 but was on base at a .349 clip. His 19.0 BB% would have led all of baseball if he qualified. He does not have very good bat to ball skills but he has an idea of how to work the strike zone.
Kottaras is a lefty who is much better against righties than he is against same side pitching. I'm a big fan of positional platoons when the situation is right. When it comes to the Cubs catching situation I don't think it would be beneficial to hit Kottaras against righties all the time because, well, most of the league throws with their right hand and Welington Castillo is still a better option than Kottaras is in that match up (over his career Beef has hit .256/.326/.392 against righties).
As it stands I think the obvious answer here is the right one. Kottaras will be a back up catcher who has a plan at the plate and can more than hold his own behind the plate. I can get with that.
A quick note on Dioner
Heading into play on May 29 Dioner Navarro was hitting .200/.254/.382 in 59 PAs. He was carrying a 4-11 B-KK ratio and was, well, playing like an older backup catcher who has a lot of miles on his legs.
Then he hit 3 homeruns against the White Sox.
After that game he posted a .319/.384/.467 line with an 18-25 BB-K ratio in 203 PAs. Neither sample, the one before May 29 or after, is a good enough size to judge Dioner Navarro on. We have 1093 PAs of .236/.294/.364 baseball from 2009-2012 we can use instead. Dioner is one of those guys that's easy for fans to root for. He doesn't look like a professional athlete which makes him relatable. I get it, I liked his aesthetic too. He also had that one shining moment against the hated cross town rivals and a good run of baseball afterwards.
I still think it was responsible of the Cubs to not overpay Dioner for 203 good PAs and forget about the 1093 PA sample.
Juan Uribe never looked like a shortstop. Usually shortstops are skinny guys with skinny legs and no paunch. They don't usually look like this. He's had an interesting and fruitful career as well. Year to year he's been a bit of a statistical roller coaster but the man was the starting shortstop for 2 world championship teams, which is something I never thought he'd do.
John put out some thoughts on Uribe, saying that he would be a good fit for a young Cubs team in need of an elder statesman who can also provide positive production on the field. I come from a statistical upbringing but over time I've learned to appreciate and embrace certain aspects of the game that we can't yet (and perhaps never will) quantify. Veteran leadership is much maligned, especially when it comes to guys like Michael Young. It's effects are probably over-hyped by some sportswriters but...I think it exists. I agree with the notion that Uribe can be a Castro whisperer
Adding Uribe would create an interesting dilemma with Mike Olt looking to earn the 3B job out of Spring Training and Kris Bryant waiting in the wings. The Cubs are also heavy on corner outfielders and light on center fielders. Uribe kind of seems like excess at this point.
Uribe is heading down a path that ends at 1B for a few years. Hopefully the Cubs have that position locked up. 3B is still an open discussion but I do think the Cubs want Olt to win the job coming out of Spring Training. I have to think Uribe is going to want consistent playing time with any team he signs.
Depending on the dollars I don't think this would be a bad signing necessarily but I do think it would say a lot about what the Cubs think about Mike Olt and it might also hint at where Kris Bryant starts out defensively.