Jonathan Lucroy has remained a trade chip for the Milwaukee Brewers all offseason, and the Texas Rangers may be interested in the All-Star catcher, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
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Trade Talks Among Interested Parties Remain Quiet
Monday, March 14
Rosenthal reported Monday no talks between Milwaukee and Texas have taken place recently. The Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics are two other teams that had interest in the veteran backstop, per Rosenthal.
The Brewers are in the midst of a massive rebuild that has seen longtime fixtures Carlos Gomez, Francisco Rodriguez and Adam Lind traded. Every move thus far has indicated the team is going younger, and dealing Lucroy, 29, would fit that objective.
His production declined some in 2015, but he was also battling multiple injuries and played in just 103 games. As a career .282 hitter, he’s an everyday backstop most teams would covet.
Lucroy would also come with two years remaining on a team-friendly contract. He’s due $4.35 million next season and has a $5.25 million option for 2017, per Spotrac.
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports outlined why it would be in the Brewers’ best interest to move him sooner rather than later:
Teams right now want to buy low on Lucroy and acquire him for two full seasons. If the Brewers wait until the deadline, they're only selling one and a half seasons of Lucroy. Teams won't be willing to pay as much. Those first few months of the season have real value. Waiting until next offseason means the price would be even lower.
The Rangers were reportedly in discussions with the Brewers over Lucroy in January but backed off because Milwaukee's asking price was "too high," per Rosenthal.
Lucroy has a limited no-trade clause, but he may be willing to waive that if a trade manifests. He's openly admitted he doesn’t have conviction the Brewers can contend this year, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
I'm not going to sit here and say we're going to compete for the playoffs this year. If I did that, you'd call me a liar. I'd lose credibility and respect.
I want to win and I don't see us winning in the foreseeable future. I want to go to a World Series. That's what all players want. Rebuilding is not a lot of fun for any veteran guy.
Texas would be a great fit for the veteran. The Rangers are coming off an 88-win season and brought back most of their corps that won the American League West last year. They’ll also get ace Yu Darvish back from Tommy John surgery at some point in 2016.
Lucroy would likely supplant incumbent starter Robinson Chirinos and bolster a lineup that last year ranked third with 751 runs scored.
The fit with Texas is certainly there, but the Brewers may need to adjust their asking price if they hope to strike a deal before Opening Day.