On November 6, veteran catcher Erik Kratz announced he would not play in 2021. Kratz told Robert Murray, “My next season will not be as a player, that’s for sure. I am deciding not to play.” Kratz didn’t officially announce retirement, but that’s what it sounded like. Kratz has been playing organizational baseball since 2002. Kratz was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2002 MLB draft in the 29th round. After being drafted by the Blue Jays, Kratz bounced around the league. In 2009, the Pirates signed Kratz to a team friendly contract, and assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate. Kratz made his MLB debut with Pittsburgh in 2010 against the Astros. Three years later, Kratz was traded back to the Blue Jays from the Phillies. Kratz’s second slint with the Blue Jays didn’t last long. In 2014, the Blue Jays traded Kratz to the Royals. Like with the Blue Jays, Kratz’s stay with the Royals was short lived. The Royals designated Kratz for assignment on June 11, 2014. His journey around the league continued. After being designated for assignment by the Royals, the Red Sox claimed him off of waivers. You can probably see where this is going. Kratz played for nine different organizations throughout his career. This leads me to why I think he could make a good big league manager. To start off, most big league managers are former catchers. During the 2020 season, Kratz was a member of the Yankees. The Yankees brought Kratz in as a mentor for young players. During an interview with MLB.com, Kratz said, “You’re probably going to get me a little emotional.” This comes after being asked about his impact on young players. Kratz continued, “I love seeing what they can do. And I think sometimes some people forget where they come from.” Kratz continued his lengthy statement, “Some people forget that they want it just as badly, and there’s people at home that want it just as badly for them,” Kratz said. “They’re not around them; they’re not around their family, they’re not around the people there. Being older, hopefully I can be somebody that can step in and help that relationship and not everyone sees it. My Spanish isn’t that great, but it’s something that I try, and I want it to be good. Now I get to cry on Zooms, because I’ve got kids, too. I hope somebody would treat my kids that way.” Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke about Kratz’s leadership in the same article, “Getting to be around Erik, really over the last couple weeks … he’s just a special person, special makeup,” Boone said. “He’s done a great job as a player for us between the lines, but what he’s brought behind the scenes and just the kind of person he is and the kind of impact he has on, whether it’s veteran players, whether it’s young players, it’s been a lot. It’s been really neat for me to see. He’s beloved in that room by everyone, and it’s because of the joy he kind of lives his life with that’s infectious. The fact that you can’t help but notice how much he cares about other people. And at the age of 40, he’s still capable of going out there between the lines and impacting our club. We’ve been lucky to have him.” The way his former teammates and coaches talk about him, led me to the conclusion of why I think he would make a good manager. I believe his postseason and World Series experience also make him a good big league manager candidate. However, I don’t think he can be a manager overnight. I do, however, believe he could be a manager in the near future. I believe he will have to make his way through the minor leagues as a coach before becoming a manager.
The Royals acquired Kelvin Gutiérrez from the Nationals in 2018 along with two other prospects for Kelvin Herrera. In my opinion, Gutiérrez is the best of the three players the Royals got in return; in fact, I believe Gutiérrez has a future with the Royals. ... Read more