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The Athletics sign Jonathan Lucroy to a one year deal

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UPDATE: Welp, as soon as I wrote about the A’s courting either Jonathan Lucroy or Matt Wieters, they went out and signed Lucroy to a one-year deal. No word on the terms yet.

Lucroy is a better catcher than Wieters and, in all likelihood, a better option than Bruce Maxwell, so even if, as I suggested below, there’s an element of grievance-avoiding in all of this, it also happens to be a positive baseball move.

4:32 PM: MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that the Oakland Athletics have been in talks to sign free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy or trade for Washington Nationals’ backstop Matt Wieters.

Lucroy hit a disappointing .265/.345/.371 with six home runs last year for the Rangers and Rockies, and a lot of that line was buoyed by far better numbers at altitude than down in Texas. That relatively poor showing has hampered his ability to find work this offseason but he could make sense on the A’s on a short-term deal during which he could build up some value.

The Nats shopping Wieters likewise makes some sense. He’s coming off his worst year in the bigs, both offensively and defensively, and is set to make $10.5 million on his player option this year.

The A’s currently have Bruce Maxwell at the top of their catching depth chart, but they don’t seem 100% sold on him as the starter. Likewise, the A’s are one of the teams against which the MLBPA has filed a grievance for not spending revenue sharing money on players, so getting either Lucroy or Wieters may be a way of getting the heat off of them.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.