Brewers trade fan favorite Kratz to SF
Phoenix, AZ ~ Even at the beginning of Spring Training, everybody including, Erik Kratz, knew he wouldn’t be a part of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. Once Yasmani Grandal signed with Milwaukee, it would’ve taken an injury to him or fellow catcher Manny Pina to keep Kratz, a fan favorite, on the team. What Kratz didn’t know, however, is where he would end up playing once the Brewers broke camp.
The 38 year old got his answer this morning when he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for minor league shortstop CJ Hinojosa.
At the beginning of Spring Training, Kratz was told he was the number three catcher, behind Grandal and Pina. Kratz played a huge veteran role in the Brewers 2018 NL Central Championship, splitting time with Pina at catcher for the majority of the season.
Since Kratz is out of minor league options, the Brewers knew they had a small chance of keeping him by placing him on waivers and re-signing him. But insteading of letting him go for nothing, Milwaukee traded Kratz to the Giants for Hinojosa, who played in Double AA and Triple AAA in 2018.
“When we acquired Yasmani, a couple of teams reached out, including San Francisco,” general manager David Stearns said.
Since there were already teams reaching out to trade for him, the Brewers would have no way of re-signing Kratz off of waivers.
After being acquired on May 25, 2018 from the New York Yankees, Kratz surpassed many;s expectations by putting together a very productive season. In 67 games, Kratz hit six homeruns to go along with 23 RBI.
When Kratz signed a one year, $1.2 million deal in late November, it looked like he would have a comfortable setting of where he would be playing in 2019. However, that all changed when the Brewers signed Grandal to an $18.5 million contract.
“There are plenty of memories. Just seeing my teammates celebrate on the field after (Game) No 163. Hearing the fans all through the playoffs. It was something that was really cool to be a part of. It’s something I’m never going to forget. Now, I’ve got to move on to the next team,” said the veteran Kratz.
By Jacob Szczap