Seelinger, 24, was the Pirates’ 28th-round pick back in the 2017 draft, but he landed with the Rays as part of last summer’s trade that sent Adeiny Hechavarria from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh. This season, Seelinger opened the 2019 campaign at Class-A Advanced Charlotte, where he’s allowed 10 runs in nine innings of work.
Inauspicious start to the current campaign aside, Seelinger enjoyed a very strong year in 2018 when he posted a combined 2.80 ERA with 13.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 1.4 HR/9 and a 33 percent ground-ball rate in 45 innings of relief. He’s been a pure reliever who’s typically been older than the average competition he’s faced, but he does have 111 career strikeouts against 29 walks in 84 innings as a professional. Given that the trade in question sent a veteran backup catcher who’d already been designated for assignment to Tampa Bay, a relief prospect with a history of missing some bats and decent results against younger competition is a fairly reasonable return.
Kratz has seen just four plate appearances since being acquired by the Rays, but he should be in line for a fair bit of playing time with each of Mike Zunino, Michael Perez and Anthony Bemboom on the injured list. For now, Kratz will team with fellow trade acquisition Travis d’Arnaud to handle the bulk of the Rays’ catching duties.