The Tampa Bay Rays had a decision on their hands following the loss of their third catcher to injury in a span of eight days. After Michael Perez and Mike Zunino went down with injuries, the Rays called up Anthony Bemboom from AAA Durham and traded for Travis d’Arnaud to handle the catching responsibilities while the Opening Day catchers were out.
On Wednesday, Anthony Bemboom was then placed on the 10-day IL with a left knee sprain. The Rays had to decide between acquiring another catcher on the trade market or calling up Nick Ciuffo, who looked shaky in his most recent game with the Rays on May 10.
The Rays decided on the former, trading for veteran catcher Erik Kratz from the San Francisco Giants and cash (the designated player is owed $1.5 million this year), in exchange for a player to be named later or possibly cash considerations, which was first reported by Marc Topkin.
We’ve acquired C Erik Kratz and cash considerations in exchange for a PTBNL or cash considerations from the #SFGiants.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 16, 2019
C Anthony Bemboom has been placed on the 10-day IL and P Aaron Slegers has been designated for assignment. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/99soCwgUxB
In Kratz, the Rays are getting a 38-year-old veteran catcher who will be joining his third team since the start of last season, and his eighth team in his career. Kratz made his Major League debut in 2010 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and ended last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, playing as the starting catcher for the Brewers in the NLCS.
Kratz was picked up by the Giants during Spring Training and ended up playing in 15 games with them in the regular season before being DFA’d on Monday, May 13.
Kratz is regarded as a very good defensive catcher. Kratz put up 9.9 Framing Runs last season, which was good for top 10 among all catchers in the MLB, according to Baseball Prospectus. Kratz also recorded 1.3 Blocking Runs, which puts him 11th among all catchers.
A career .208 hitter, Kratz is not expected to do much at the plate, but his defensive abilities make up for his subpar hitting numbers, and that should be kept in mind when Kratz steps up to the plate. Kratz should be on the team and ready to play in the upcoming series against the Yankees tomorrow. A spot on the 40-man roster was opened today after pitcher Aaron Slegers was designated for assignment.