Brewers and catcher Erik Kratz avoid salary arbitration

   MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Veteran catcher Erik Kratz and the Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a $1.2 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration and includes a $300,000 guarantee.

   Kratz hit .236 with six homers and 23 RBIs in 219 plate appearances last season. He also excelled in Milwaukee's Division Series win over the Colorado Rockies, going 5 for 8 in two games.

   The 38-year-old earned a prorated share of his $1 million salary this year and $100,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.

   His deal was announced Tuesday, three days before the deadline for teams to offer 2019 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters. Kratz's $300,000 guarantee would be offset against any termination pay, and his termination pay would increase during the course of the season should he be removed from the roster.

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