Will Jonathan Lucroy Be Traded?

 

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Credit: Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers currently sit at a record of 26 wins and 31 losses, but they have a chance to win a wild card spot, but they have to play at a high level. They are 14.5 games out of first place and Lucroy is not a young player anymore. Lucroy is 29, and is under contract this year and only for next season if his club option is exercised, which his club option will be exercised, as it is only worth a little bit over $5 mil. The Brewers would be foolish to decline that option. That is why they should trade him this year, since he has value for his new team, as they get him for the rest of this season and for the following year for a cheap amount. That is a steal for any team looking at Lucroy’s services, but after his current contract, he will not be cheap. Lucroy could get a lucrative payday and make at least $15 mil per season.

Now, Lucroy will be an All-Star this year and that will also drive up his price, but let alone, he has had a bounce back year. In 2014, Lucroy had finished fourth in the MVP race and made his first All-Star appearance, plus to go with those accolades, he led the National League with 53 doubles. Then in 2015, Lucroy still had a good year, but it was not the Lucroy season that baseball fans always love tend to see, but 2016 came around the corner and the Louisiana-Lafayette product turned on the jets that allowed him to drive the baseball all over the field to produce a beautiful .316 batting average with 9 home runs, plus he drove in 28 RBIs already. In 53 games, he has a OBP of .372, slugging percentage of .539, and OPS of .911, which both of them are career high so far. In fact, he owns a 2.0 offensive WAR this year, which is good on an up and down team.

Next, Lucroy is a great defensive catcher, which in his first couple of seasons, he was excellent, then he hit a crossroad and could not throw anyone out in a two year span (2012 and 2013), but he went back to his old roots and started to excel behind the plate, because if he did not shape up behind there, he could have been moved to first base, which if he moved to first base, it would have killed his offensive value where he would of been considered average. Also, Lucroy this year has been prominent behind the plate, as he has gunned out 43 percent of base runners trying to steal a bag from him. Interestingly, 32 percent is the league average in throwing runners out and he is 11 percent over the league. Lucroy is also well known for calling a superb game and is elite in the pitch framing department.

Finally, Lucroy will cost a team if they want to acquire his services. One team that has the prospects and money to get him is the Boston Red Sox. They do need a catcher and Lucroy fits the bill. He will join a top offensive team and they get a veteran catcher, who is in his prime that can play at a high level offensively and defensively. The Red Sox have the money not only to acquire him, but to extend him, plus they do have the prospects to acquire him. The Red Sox ended the Swihart experiment behind the plate, which he is better off as a outfielder. Ryan Hanigan is better off as their backup, if the All-Star joins the team. The Red Sox are currently using a platoon of Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, since Hanigan is on the DL. Now, if this deal goes through, you could see Christian Vazquez, Henry Owens, Michael Chavis, and Henry Ramos packaged up for Lucroy and Matt Garza. I say Vazquez, as the Brewers will need a catcher to replace Lucroy, plus he is younger and good defensively, Owens is a MLB ready arm and has fallen out of favor in Boston it seems, Chavis and Ramos have the potential to be on a big league roster one day, which Ramos is ready for a chance at the next level. Now, Garza is on the DL and it is unclear when he will return, but he could be that one guy to help the lower half of the rotation and the Brewers would end up paying most of his contract, which could make the Red Sox bite on the deal.

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