The Phillies announced that they have signed catcher Erik Kratz to a minor league contract. Earlier today, Kratz’s agents at Jackson Management Group tweeted that their client had agreed to terms with a new team — they declined to specify which club — meaning he’s now been in four organizations in one month’s time.
Signing with the Phillies marks a homecoming for the veteran Kratz in more ways than one. For starters, the 35-year-old is a native of Telford, Penn. and attended high school in nearby Lansdale — both of which are roughly an hour outside of Philadelphia. The Phillies are also the team that gave Kratz his first significant taste of Major League action. Though he actually debuted with Pennsylvania’s other big league squad, Kratz totaled just 36 plate appearances in his 2010 debut with Pittsburgh.
Kratz has 537 plate appearances at the Major League level — 381 of which have come as a member of the Phillies. From 2011-13, Kratz batted .230/.291/.436 for the Phillies and showed impressive power with a .206 ISO and 18 homers while serving primarily as a backup to Carlos Ruiz.
Kratz began the year with the Royals but has since been designated for assignment and claimed by the Red Sox. Boston again designated Kratz shortly after, and he then signed with the Mariners. However, Kratz opted out of that deal when it became apparent that he wouldn’t get a look on the big league roster. Over the course of his career, Kratz is a .217/.270/.400 hitter that has caught 31 percent of attempted base-stealers and graded out well in terms of pitch-framing metrics.