Kansas City Royals Designate Erik Kratz For Assignment


The Kansas City Royals must have liked what they have seen from recently acquired backup catcher Drew Butera. They have designated former backup catcher Erik Kratz for assignment Thursday afternoon, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

It was Kratz’s May 6 injury caused general manager Dayton Moore to deal for Butera.

At the time, KC Royals Moore indicated that the team was “just trying to get through this period of time” when asked why he traded minor-league infielder Ryan Jackson for Butera.

But as Erik Kratz reached the end of his rehabilitation assignment to the minor leagues, manager Ned Yost seemed to backtrack from Moore’s earlier assertion. Yost told Covers.com:

"“We’ll sit down and evaluate what our biggest need is,” Yost said. “Butera is a little more defensive oriented and Kratz is a little more offensive oriented.”"

Apparently, the Kansas City Royals brass decided they liked Drew Butera’s defense in the backup role, better than Kratz’s offense.  Or, perhaps, Dayton Moore has already lined-up a trade for Erik Kratz—or believes Kratz is the more markettable between the pair of backup catchers.

In either case, Drew Butera has won the backup catcher job in Kansas City.

With Erik Kratz now designated for assignment, the KC Royals have 10 days to work a trade for Kratz. If they do not make a deal, Kratz will go on waivers. If no other club claims him, Kratz can then decide if he wishes to accept assignment to a Royals minor-league team (presumably AAA Omaha).

I can’t image that Kratz would draw more than a C-level prospect, or AAA depth, in trade.

The 31-year-old Drew Butera is a six-year major-league veteran that has played for the Twins, Dodgers, Angels, and now Royals. He only has hit for a .182/.236/.265 line, but is known as a strong defensive catcher who is good at pitch framing.

As an added bonus, the Kansas City Royals even seem to like him as a batting practice pitcher. With the Royals bringing their fathers along on a team road trip and letting the dads on the field to take batting practice hacks, manager Ned Yost said:

"“The star was the B.P. pitcher, Drew Butera,” manager Ned Yost said.To Yost, Butera represented a marked improvement over last year’s pitcher, broadcaster Rex Hudler. Hudler did not exactly flood the zone with strikes. Butera did so.“Huge upgrade,” Yost said. “Huge upgrade. Much better.”"

Let’s just hope the Kansas City Royals starters like Drew Butera just as much as the team dads.

Next: Kansas City Royals 2015 MLB Draft Review

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