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.