Two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy could be on the move before the end of July. The soon to be free agent should be a hot commodity for playoff contending teams down the stretch of the season.
The Texas Rangers have an important decision to make in the next month. Trade catcher Jonathan Lucroy or sign him to a long-term deal? Keeping Lucroy through the season without agreeing to an extension is a risky move for Texas.
The 31-year-old Lucroy signed a six-year $15.5 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012. He is arguably one of the best catchers in the MLB today, and will likely receive an enormous pay-day this off-season.
It’s difficult to predict exactly what Lucroy will make, but a deal around five years $12-15 million a season is a solid estimate. The Rangers have plenty of pending veteran free agents, and need to make sure they don’t put all their money in one place.
This season Lucroy is hitting .267 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 52 games. He has yet to commit an error behind home plate. Not exactly “superstar” numbers from Lucroy, but his track record speaks for itself.
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The Rangers have Robinson Chirinos signed through 2018, but he’s not an everyday catcher. According to MLB.com, catcher Jose Trevino is the Rangers No. 7 prospect in their farm system. The 24-year-old Trevino could see time in the MLB this season.
Trading Lucroy could be the best move in the long-run for the Rangers. They would likely get a top 50 prospect in return, and possibly one or two low-a ball players. The team can always fill the catcher position in the off-season.
The ideal situation is trade Lucroy for a boatload of prospects and build for the future. Use the money to re-sign Yu Darvish or sign other valuable assets. Lucroy is a good player, but too expensive to keep in Arlington.