The deal to Cleveland fell through but this one is gonna take: the Brewers have traded catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress to the Texas Rangers in exchange for prospects Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz.
This is quite a coup for the Rangers, especially given that they didn’t have to give up top prospect Joey Gallo, who many were speculating the Brewers might demand. Brinson — the Rangers first round pick in 2012 — and Ortiz — a 2014 first rounder — aren’t a bad haul, but it does seem to be less of a package than that which Cleveland offered the Brewers. Brinson, a center fielder, is at high-A ball and is a top-20 prospect. Ortiz is starting in Double-A and is a top-75 prospect. In the 60s by some evaluators.
Obviously, though, Lucroy is a player the Rangers can desperately use. Texas’ pitching has been decimated this summer, but their catching situation has been pretty darn dire as well. If you can’t acquire a big starter, add some offense in a position of need. Lucroy is some offense, hitting .299/.359/.482 on the year. He’s under contract on a team-friendly option for next season.
Jeffress is a more than a mere throw-in. He’ll help bolster the Rangers’ bullpen, turning it into a VERY strong core from top to bottom. He has a 2.22 ERA and 27 saves in 44.2 innings in 47 appearances this year.