Kratz injury pushes Royals to trade for backup catcher Drew Butera

The Royals will be Drew Butera's fourth team in the last three years.

Kelley L Cox/Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals acquired catcher Drew Butera on Thursday morning from the Angels, trading minor league infielder Ryan Jackson to Los Angeles.

To make space for Butera on the 40-man roster, Kansas City transferred Tim Collins from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said the move was made to add depth to the catching position, with primary backup Erik Kratz on the 15-day disabled list with a left foot ailment. Moore said Kratz remains Kansas City’s backup catcher when healthy.

"It’s a primary position, it’s crucial," Moore said. "With Kratzy going down, we just felt like we needed to execute and get some depth and just move day-to-day right now."

Kratz will likely return at the end of his 15-day DL stint, forcing the Royals to make another move behind the plate, Moore said. Both Kratz and Butera are out of options, meaning they cannot be stashed in the minor leagues without being exposed to waivers.

Butera will join the team Friday in Detroit, likely taking the spot of Francisco Pena, who will probably head back to Triple A Omaha.

"We’re just trying to get through this period of time and see what goes from there," Moore said.

Butera was designated for assignment by the Angels on Monday after slashing .190/.190/.190 through his first 10 games with the club. The Royals will be his fourth team in the last three years.

Moore said the Royals were not actively looking for a backup catcher until Kratz went down with an injury. With Kratz’s injury and Butera’s availability, the move was necessary, Moore said.

"He’s always had a great reputation of being a defensive catcher, can really catch and throw," Moore said. "Comes from a terrific baseball family and he’s been an ideal backup. Just gives us some depth at this point."

Escobar still waiting

Shortstop Alcides Escobar did not return to the lineup Thursday afternoon, the first day he was eligible to come off the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Escobar again took groundballs Thursday, and was taking the necessary concussion test during manager Ned Yost’s morning meeting with the media. Sunday will be the seventh game Escobar has missed as a result of being hit in the head by a Danny Salazar pitch last Wednesday.

Herrera suspension reduced — a little

The league has reduced the combined total of Kelvin Herrera’s appeals by one game, from seven games to six.

Herrera appealed two separate suspensions — one a five-game ban for throwing at Oakland’s Brett Lawrie, the other a two-game punishment for his role in a brawl with Chicago. The five-game ban was held intact, while the two-game suspension was reduced to a single game.

Herrera will begin serving his suspensions today. He can return May 13 at Texas.

Rios takes swings

Injured outfielder Alex Rios, recovering from a fractured left hand, has taken dry swings, according to Yost. Dry swings are taken without making contact with anything.

Yost also said Rios has been doing hand-strengthening exercises for about four or five days. Rios was hit by a pitch April 13 and hasn’t played since.

You can follow Matthew DeFranks on Twitter at @MDeFranks or email him at matthew.defranks@gmail.com.