The Brewers have traded catcher George Kottaras to the Oakland A's for RHP Fautino De Los Santos, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. This seems like a classic move for Oakland GM Billy Beane, as Kottaras maintains a high OBP and is a useful lefty bat, rare for a backup catcher. Kottaras will also likely be a backup in Oakland, replacing either scuffling Kurt Suzuki or promising rookie Derek Norris on the A's roster.
De Los Santos is an intriguing relief option, and a pretty good get for the Brewers. He showed the potential to be a late-inning option in 2011 and was in the mix to be the A's closer in Spring Training, but lost out to Grant Balfour and early control problems earned him a demotion to AAA. De Los Santos is a high-strikeout, high-walk pitcher (not unlike Jose Veras), featuring a high-90's fastball, wipeout slider, and a changeup when the mood strikes him. His AAA numbers this season look rough, but a .423 BABIP allowed has helped inflate his ERA and make him look worse than he really is. It's unclear at this point whether the Brewers will bring him to the big-league club immediately, but he's a nice pickup for the organization regardless and should be a decent, affordable reliever for years to come.