In a column for USA Today on Wednesday, Bob Nightengale mentioned that the Brewers, Braves, and Astros were discussing a three-way trade which would have moved catcher Jonathan Lucroy, likely to the Astros. The deal never materialized, obviously.
The rebuilding Brewers have made no secret that they would trade Lucroy for the right return, but Nightengale writes that the Brewers have “attached an exorbitant price tag” on the backstop. Lucroy, who turns 30 years old in June, battled injuries last year and hit a mediocre .264/.326/.391 with seven home runs and 43 RBI in 415 plate appearances. However, he had been one of baseball’s best-hitting catchers over the three previous seasons and finished fourth in National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting in 2014.
Lucroy will earn $4 million this season in what is likely the final year of his contract, at least with the Brewers. He has a $5.25 million club option for the 2017 season with a $250,000 buyout.
The Rangers and Nationals had been reported as interested in Lucroy prior to the start of spring training. We’ll likely hear more trade chatter towards the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. Lucroy has a limited no-trade clause with which he can reject a trade to eight teams.