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Yankees sign Erik Kratz to minor league deal

Erik Kratz

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Erik Kratz #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays chases a wild pitch during the third inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 18, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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Free agent catcher Erik Kratz has inked a minors deal with the Yankees, Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune reports. Official confirmation of the signing is still pending, but it seems to be fortuitous timing for the veteran catcher, who received his official release from the Rays on Friday.

Kratz, 38, has bounced around the league for the last few seasons and split his first 21 games of 2019 between the Giants and Rays. He reported to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre batting a collective .102/.170/.204 with three extra-base hits, three RBI, and a .374 OPS through 53 plate appearances so far.

Lackluster numbers notwithstanding, Kratz is expected to provide welcome depth behind the Yankees’ Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez. While Romine has maintained a steady presence behind the dish this spring, Sanchez missed some time on the injured list after sustaining and rehabbing a left calf strain.