UPDATE: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the deal is for five years and $11 million in guaranteed money.
Jonathan Lucroy and the Brewers are on the verge of agreeing to a multi-year contract extension, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
No details yet, but Rosenthal reports that the extension will be for either four or five years. Lucroy won’t even be arbitration eligible for the first time until 2014, so a four-year deal would simply be pre-paying for his arbitration seasons and a fifth year would buy out his first season of free agency in 2017.
If that happens Lucroy will be one of the least accomplished players to ever sign a long-term extension, as the 26-year-old catcher has hit just .260 with a .307 on-base percentage and .366 slugging percentage in 211 games. He started 114 of 162 games last season, but posted a modest .703 OPS that ranked 17th among the 21 catchers with at least 100 games.
Lucroy is certainly capable of more production and always showed good on-base skills in the minors, but right now he looks like more of a role player than a long-term building block.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: