The Mariners have signed catcher Erik Kratz to a minor-league contract, according a team announcement. Earlier in the day, we reported that Kratz had agreed to a deal with an unknown club, noting that Seattle was a strong possibility.
Kratz will head to Triple-A Tacoma to start, but there is an expectation that he could join Seattle's major-league club in the near future. The 35-year old recently elected free agency after being designated for assignment and outrighted by the Red Sox, drawing strong interest from the Braves and multiple other clubs before signing with Seattle. The M's will be Kratz' third organization of the season, joining the Royals and Red Sox.
Kratz will provide depth behind struggling catchers Mike Zunino and Jesus Sucre for the light-hitting Mariners, though the team may make a more significant addition at the position by the end of the month. For his career, Kratz is a .217/.270/.400 hitter with 23 home runs in 180 career games with the Phillies (2010-2013), Blue Jays (2014), and Royals (2014-2015). He appeared in four major-league games with Kansas City earlier this year, going hitless in four at-bats.