Earlier today the Yankees signed Erik Kratz to a minor league deal, as reported by Conor Foley. The veteran catcher will report to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes/Barre, where he is slated to fill in for the injured Ryan Lavarnway.
Kratz, 38, played in 21 games this season between the San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays. He hit .102/.170/.204 with one home run, good for an exactly 0 wRC+. The Rays designated him for assignment on May 31 before releasing him yesterday.
This marks the backstop’s third stint with the Yankees. He latched on with the team down the stretch in 2017, appearing in four games that season. Kratz went 2-for-2 with a double, which places him third on the Yankees’ all-time OPS leaderboard with no minimum for plate appearances. He re-signed with the club on a minor league contract for the 2018 season, but opted out in June to sign with the Brewers.
The highlight of Kratz’s career took place in Milwaukee. He hit .236/.280/.355 with six home runs over 67 games. The catcher also appeared in his first postseason game last fall. That experience provided fans with this gem of a quote:
Brewers backup C Erik Kratz, at 38, became the oldest position player to make his postseason debut since Lave Cross in 1905. “We played together in rookie ball,” Kratz joked.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 7, 2018
Kratz just represents a little extra depth, and probably won’t reach the big leagues with the Yankees. It’s still fun to have him around though.