The Milwaukee Brewers have 13 arbitration-eligible players this off-season. However, they were able to avoid arbitration with veteran catcher Erik Kratz by signing the 38-year-old to a one-year contract on Tuesday night.
Catcher Erik Kratz has agreed to a 1-year contract, avoiding arbitration. 12 players remain arbitration eligible: Pérez, Piña, Saladino, Santana, Schoop, Shaw, Cedeño, Davies, Guerra, Jennings, Knebel and Nelson. pic.twitter.com/yG9jOfoWsL
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) November 27, 2018
Erik Kratz Returns to the Milwaukee Brewers on One-Year Deal
Kratz split time with fellow backstop Manny Pina behind the plate throughout the 2018 season. Despite his poor offensive numbers (70 wRC+ and .634 OPS), he was able to give the Brewers plenty of value. When Kratz was behind the plate, Brewers pitchers posted a strong 3.42 ERA. He was also one of the better pitch framers in baseball, accumulating 9.9 framing runs despite playing part-time.
Kratz gained some fame during the National League Division Series when he went 5-for-8 at the plate in his first taste of playoff baseball. He had a double, a run scored, two RBI, and just one strikeout while playing in two games of the three-game sweep. Unfortunately, Kratz was just 2-for-16 (.125) with five strikeouts while appearing in all seven games of the NLCS. He finished the postseason with a .292/.346/.375 slash over nine games between the NLDS and NLCS.
Under his new contract, Kratz will be guaranteed $300K and will receive a $1.2 million guarantee if he makes the major-league roster out of spring training. The deal also includes award bonuses.
Kratz will receive $1.2M if in majors, with 300K guaranteed. plus award bonuses https://t.co/7XPqQ9NFHS
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 27, 2018
While he’s not going to wow anyone with the bat, Kratz is a good player to have in the clubhouse and behind the plate. It’s possible that the Brewers will still add another catcher, but Kratz gives them a solid security blanket at the position.
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