Erik Kratz has signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to Jon Morosi of SI. Kratz became a minor league free agent this past weekend, after spending time in the majors with the Pirates in 2010. He would have been fourth on the Pirates’ depth chart for catchers in 2011, behind Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit, and Jason Jaramillo.
Jaramillo should start the 2011 season as the starting catcher in AAA, assuming Doumit doesn’t get traded, which isn’t a big assumption. Kratz would have been his backup, and would have likely moved to the third string with Tony Sanchez likely arriving in AAA at some point in 2011. Kratz would need Doumit to be traded, and one of Snyder or Jaramillo to get injured to make the majors with the Pirates in 2011. He received an invite to major league camp with the Phillies, where he might have a shot at making the majors behind Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.