KANSAS CITY, MO (July 28, 2014) - The Kansas City Royals announced tonight that they have acquired minor league catcher Erik Kratz and right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks from the Toronto Blue Jays, in exchange for infielder Danny Valencia. Kratz will join the Royals in time for Tuesday night's game against Minnesota, while Hendriks will be assigned to Triple-A Omaha. Infielder Christian Colon will be recalled from Omaha tomorrow, while to make room on the 40-man roster, catcher Brett Hayes has been designated for assignment.
Kratz, 34, has split time between Toronto and Buffalo (AAA) this season. He's played in 34 games for the Jays in 2014, batting .198 with 3 doubles, 3 homers and 10 RBI, while he's posted a .299 average and recorded 10 doubles, 3 homers and 17 RBI in 27 games for the Bisons. He was traded to Toronto this offseason from the Phillies' organization, where he spent three years. He's been a Triple-A All-Star three times in his career (2009-11), being named the game's Top Star at the 2009 contest in Portland, Ore., collecting a double and a homer in his two at-bats. In parts of five Major League seasons, Kratz has hit .216 with 21 homers, 63 RBI with Pittsburgh (2010), Philadelphia (2011-13) and Toronto (2014).
Hendriks, 25, was named the Top Star from the International League at the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16, pitching 2.0 scoreless innings and recording four strikeouts. He's made 16 starts for the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, Buffalo, going 8-1 with a 2.33 ERA, recording 91 strikeouts in 108.1 innings, while holding opponents to a .231 batting average this season. The young righty has made three starts for Toronto in 2014, going 1-0 with a 6.08 ERA with eight strikeouts. Hendriks was selected off waivers by three different teams this offseason, ending up with Toronto on February 21. He was originally signed by the Minnesota Twins as a non-drafted free agent out of Perth, Australia in 2007. He participated in the SiriusXM Radio Futures All-Star Games (2010, 2011) and pitched in 30 games for the Twins over a three-year period (2011-13).
Valencia, 29, was hitting .282 with 2 homers and 11 RBI in 26 games for the Royals this season.