Rumors have reported that the New York Yankees signed catcher Erik Kratz to a minor league deal on Friday.
Kratz, 39, has had several stints with the Yankees over the last few years. He made four appearances with the team in 2017, and spent time in Scranton in both 2018 and 2019.
Because of his age, he’s on the last leg of his career and just happy to being playing baseball. He’s played pro ball since 2002 and made MLB appearances in every season since 2010.
The signing of Kratz actually makes the catcher depth chart clearer. By the looks of it, the Yankees will be out on Martin Maldonado and will use Kratz as the third catcher. He will eventually be put on the 40 man roster with Kyle Higashioka and Gary Sanchez.
With that being said, it appears that Higashioka will be the backup catcher. Brian Cashman and ownership spoke about Higgy during the Gerrit Cole signing day ceremonies, and all stated that they feel very comfortable with him as the backup.
When Sanchez or Higashioka gets hurt, it’s likely that Kratz would come up. But, once he comes up, he can’t go back down without clearing waivers. I think that the team would look to pursue another catcher if/when Kratz gets called up.
Obviously, Kratz will get a spring training invite and will probably be with the team almost until it’s time to break camp and head north.
Overall, I like this move from the Yankees. They have another catcher waiting for whenever called upon, and it didn’t cost much money.