The Rockies have acquired catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers, Ken Rosenthal reports. The Rangers’ return is not yet known, but details should emerge shortly. (Update: It’s a player to be named later, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.)
Lucroy, 31, has now been traded in two consecutive seasons. The Rangers acquired him from the Brewers on August 1 last year. So far this season, Lucroy is batting .242/.297/.338 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 306 plate appearances. Production-wise, it’s his worst season since his rookie campaign in 2010.
Nevertheless, Lucroy should represent an upgrade behind the dish. Tony Wolters, who has had most of the playing time behind the plate, has a .651 OPS. Backups Dustin Garneau and Tom Murphy have a .613 and .236 OPS, respectively.
Lucroy is owed the remainder of his $5.25 million salary and can become a free agent after the season.
The Rockies, 59-45 entering Sunday night’s game against the Nationals, are 14 games back of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West, but are currently tied with the Diamondbacks for either of the two Wild Card slots.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.