The Phillies announced this evening that they signed veteran catcher Erik Kratz to a minor league contract. He’s slated to report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Kratz previously played for the Phillies from 2011-2013 while batting .230 with 18 home runs and a .727 OPS over 120 games. The 35-year-old has received only sporadic playing time in the majors since, making stops with the Blue Jays and the Royals. He was recently given his release by the Mariners after appearing in 10 games with Triple-A Tacoma.
Carlos Ruiz and Cameron Rupp are sharing catching duties with the Phillies right now, but Kratz could get an opportunity with the big club at some point during the second half.
MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom reports that Padres catcher Tim Federowicz will miss the next three to six months with a complete tear of the meniscus in his right knee. The initial diagnosis had been a small tear in his lateral meniscus, which would have required arthroscopic surgery.
The Padres had acquired the 27-year-old Federowicz along with outfielder Matt Kemp in the December trade that sent Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, and pitching prospect Zach Eflin to the Dodgers.
With Federowicz out of the picture, veteran Wil Nieves will back up Derek Norris behind the plate. Nieves, 37, hit .254/.270/.344 with one home run and seven RBI in 128 plate appearances as Carlos Ruiz’s back-up in Philadelphia last season.
Journeyman catcher Wil Nieves has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Padres, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com.
Nieves spent last season backing up Carlos Ruiz with the Phillies, hitting .254 with one homer and a .614 OPS in 36 games. He has a .598 career OPS and has topped a .700 OPS just once, in 2012, so at age 37 expectations should be very modest.
He’ll compete with Tim Federowicz to back up Derek Norris in San Diego.