Kottaras claimed by Royals
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OAKLAND -- After being designated for assignment on Jan. 16, to make room for the newly acquired John Jaso, the Kansas City Royals have claimed catcher George Kottaras off waivers.

Kottaras, 29, was initially acquired last July in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. The left-handed hitting catcher hit .212 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 27 games with the A's. Kottaras came through in big situations for Oakland last season; six of his nine home runs came with runners on base, and he hit .368 with runners in scoring position.

He finished the season with career highs in walks (37), on-base percentage (.351) and home runs (9). The 29-year-old Kottaras has a .220 career average and is entering his sixth MLB season after playing for the Red Sox and Brewers for most of his first five years in the majors.

Prior to being designated for assignment, Kottaras signed a one-year deal with the A's to avoid arbitration on Jan. 14.