Last night the Indians and Brewers struck a deal to send two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Cleveland in exchange for four prospects. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting this morning, however, that Lucroy has vetoed the trade.
The Indians were one of eight teams on Lucroy’s no trade list. It is unclear why Lucroy has vetoed the deal, but one strong possibility is that Lucroy wants whoever acquires him to void the team option to which he is subject for $5.25 million. While he obviously agreed to that at the time he signed his deal with Milwaukee, that is far below his market value now. No-trade clauses like Lucroy’s, which he also bargained for, are often used as leverage in just this sort of situation.
Buster Olney of ESPN said a few minutes ago that the Indians will continue to try to convince Lucroy to change his mind and accept the trade, but if they are going to have to tear up the 2017 option to do it, they’ll likely be sending far less to Milwaukee than that which was reported last night. Or, if they think it’s too much trouble, they could simply move on, content with the Andrew Miller acquisition and hope against hope they can straighten out their catching situation which is the absolute worst in baseball.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.