Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy has been one of the most-shopped players as we move towards the Aug. 1st MLB trade deadline. In fact, we named him as our #3 most-likely player to be moved before the deadline.
We also discussed how the Cleveland Indians were one of the teams looking to trade for Lucroy, which they did this week. The Indians offered four prospects to the rebuilding Brewers in exchange for Lucroy. The only problem is that the 30-year-old catcher rejected Cleveland’s trade, exercising the no-trade clause in his contract.
Why Did Lucroy Reject the Indians Trade?
Lucroy is earning $4 million this season, and the team has a $5.2 million option on next season. According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, Lucroy wanted Cleveland to tear up the contract so that the $5.2m team option was gone.
“I know you guys want [details], but I’m not going to [give them]. Some circumstances came up and made me void it, obviously. I think when it comes out, everyone will understand why. That’s it. I’m not going to comment on any specifics, nothing like that, as much as I’d like to. i’m respecting their process and what the Brewers are trying to do in terms of the trade. If that’s going to happen or not, i don’t know. As of right now, I’m still a Brewer and I’m going to be until somebody tells me different.”
Where Else Could Lucroy End Up?
Tomorrow is the final day of the trade deadline, and the Texas Rangers and New York Mets might pursue Lucroy more aggressively now that Cleveland is out of the picture.
Texas and New York were two of the biggest suitors for Lucroy since they’re both struggling in the catching department. The Rangers lead the American League with a 61-44 record, and could bolster their chances of winning the AL pennant.
The Mets are in a different position, sitting at 53-50 and 7.5 games behind the Washington Nationals in the AL East. But they’re also battling with the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins (both 56-48) for the final AL Wild Card spot.
Cleveland Loses Out on a Chance to Improve a Problem Area
The Indians still have a good grip on the AL Central, sitting at 59-42, which is 4.5 games ahead of the second-place Detroit Tigers. But their biggest Achilles’ heel has been catching, and they missed out on an opportunity to upgrade this area.
Cleveland has struggled to find a catcher who’s both good on defense and has a bat. They’ve used Chris Gimenez (.202 avg), Yan Gomes (.165 avg), and Roberto Perez (.043 avg) – none of whom have given the Indians much hitting.
Jonathan Lucroy would’ve instantly solved this problem since he’s hitting .303 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs so far. The 6-year veteran is one of the top-hitting catchers in the league and could have bolstered Cleveland’s biggest weakness.
As it is, The Tribe will continue trying to close out the AL Central without an elite catcher.