Erik Kratz, who you may remember, has signed with the Yankees on a minor league deal according to Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman.
Erik Kratz has signed a minor league deal with the #Yankees. @JonHeyman 1st. Kratz played 4 games with the NYY in 2017 and in their minors parts of ’18-’19. NYY needed a veteran at AAA since Sanchez/Higashioka are only catchers on 40-man roster.
Sherman’s tweet pretty much sums up the signing nicely. It seems like Higgy will be the Yankees backup catcher in 2020 despite many rumors about the Yankees having interest in Cole’s personal catcher, Martin Maldonado.
With Romine now in Detroit, it will be interesting to see how Higashioka develops in the majors. Last week I wrote about my concerns with Higgy being the primary backup to Sanchez, who over the past three seasons has missed significant time due to injuries. There are a lot of good things about Higgy’s game – he’s a solid defensive catcher who frames well, but there are also some glaring weaknesses – he’s an all-or-nothing type hitter and does not throw out base runners well.
Kratz, who will turn 40 in June, has played 10 seasons in the majors for 9 different teams. In that time he has a 64 OPS+ in 921 plate appearances. But let’s be honest, he’s not here for his bat. He’s here for insurance.