The Chicago Cubs acquired backup catcher George Kottaras from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday for cash and will give him a chance to win a spot in spring training.

Kottaras, 30, hit .180 with five home runs in 100 at-bats for the Royals last year, and is a career .214 hitter with the Brewers, Red Sox and A's.

Kottaras was designated for assignment by the Royals and would've become a free agent. He came up with the Red Sox in 2008 and '09 when Theo Epstein was general manager.