The Rays have acquired catcher Erik Kratz and cash considerations from the Giants in exchange for either a player to be named later or cash, per an announcement from the Giants. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times was the first to report that Kratz had been dealt to Tampa, adding that he expected right-hander Aaron Slegers to be designated for assignment to make room for Kratz on the 40-man roster (Twitter links). MLB.com’s Juan Toribio confirmed that Slegers is indeed headed for DFA limbo.
Kratz was designated himself by the Giants earlier this week, and the veteran will now suit up for the ninth different team in 10 Major League seasons. Kratz will back up Travis d’Arnaud, himself a recent acquisition, on a Rays team that has seen its catching depth depleted in recent days. Mike Zunino, Michael Perez, and now rookie Anthony Bemboom have all been sidelined with injuries, with Bemboom hitting the IL earlier today due to a sprained left knee. It’s probably safe to assume that Kratz’s time with the Rays could be short as players begin to return from injury, though that might still be some weeks away, and d’Arnaud himself is no guarantee to stay healthy.
The money changing hands in the deal should indicate that the Rays won’t be on the hook for much of the approximately $900K that Kratz is still owed for the remainder of the season.
Slegers has a 5.90 ERA over 29 career MLB innings, all with the Twins from 2017-18. After going to the Pirates on a waiver claim in the offseason, he was acquired by the Rays at the end of Spring Training, and Slegers has managed only a 6.15 ERA over 33 2/3 innings for Triple-A Durham this season.