It’s time we ask the question, should the Rangers extend Jonathan Lucroy? We’ve seen what he can do in a Rangers uniform, but is it enough for the team to sign him long-term?
The 30-year-old catcher is eligible for free agency after the 2017 season, and will not be cheap. In 2012, Lucroy signed a six-year deal for $15.5 million with the Brewers. Now he’s eligible for free agency, and he’s going to get paid like a two-time All-Star.
It is likely Lucroy will be looking for a deal around five or six years for 12-15 million per year. The question remains, should the Rangers go after Lucroy when they have other holes to fill? Star pitcher Yu Darvish is eligible for free agency along with veterans Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli.
The organization does not have the money to re-sign everyone, and will have to pick either Lucroy or Darvish. Signing Darvish long-term is most likely the Rangers first priority. While Lucroy is a stud behind the plate, the Rangers do have some depth.
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Over the off-season, the Rangers re-signed catcher Robinson Chirinos through the 2018 season. He’s been exceeding expectations this season as he’s hitting .265 with five home runs and 14 RBI in limited playing time.
If we’re being realistic, Chirinos should not be the starter. He’s a solid backup catcher, but he’s unlikely ever going to be anything more than that. The Rangers have other options like 24-year-old Jose Trevino who is currently in Double-A.
The catcher position is not something that needs to be worried about too much. The organization could always sign a veteran like Miguel Montero in the off-season to add depth.
The main concern this season should be re-signing Yu Darvish to a long-term deal. Only go after Lucroy if the Darvish extension is not going to happen. Right now the Rangers need to be worried about re-signing their ace.