The Brewers announced that the club and catcher Erik Kratz have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Kratz was eligible for arbitration in his third of four years. He’ll earn $300,000 guaranteed and $1.2 million in total if he stays in the majors, per Jon Heyman of Fancred.
Kratz, 38, was lackluster with the bat during the regular season, batting .236/.280/.355 in 219 plate appearances. However, he played solid enough defense and handled the pitching staff well. During the playoffs, Kratz had two hits and two RBI in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Rockies and three hits in Game 3, helping the Brewers advance to the NLCS. Understandably, the Brewers wanted him back.
Kratz is still behind Manny Piña on the Brewers’ depth chart, but he could be in line for a bit more playing time in 2019.
Part of the reason the Cleveland Indians could trade away a pitcher like Trevor Bauer in the middle of a playoff race is because they have reinforcements on the way. The primary reinforcement is Corey Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a broken arm. Based on what happened yesterday it’s possible that the Tribe will have to wait a bit longer for that particular reinforcement to arrive.
Kluber was the starter in yesterday’s game between Triple-A Columbus and Charlotte. He managed only one inning, however, walking two and not allowing a run before being lifted due to abdominal tightness. It was said that he was removed for precautionary reasons, so it may not be an injury as opposed to everyone simply being spooked. He’ll be reevaluated today.
It’s unclear whether this will delay his return to the Indians, though it obviously isn’t a good development. As it stood before yesterday, Cleveland had hoped Kluber could make big league starts in September and be ready for the postseason.