Jonathan Lucroy
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Report: Angels sign Jonathan Lucroy to one-year deal

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Free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy is staying in the AL West, albeit not with the Athletics. According to both Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan and Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the backstop has inked a one-year, $3.35 million contract (plus incentives) with the Angels for the 2019 season. The team has yet to officially announce the deal.

Lucroy, 32, is coming off of a one-year, $6.5 million gig with Oakland, during which he batted .241/.291/.325 with 26 extra-base hits, a .617 OPS, and career-worst 0.6 fWAR through 454 plate appearances. He didn’t look great behind the plate, either, where he finished with a .990 fielding percentage and 72 stolen bases, the most allowed by any major-league catcher in 2018.

While he failed to live up to the .292-average, 4.6-fWAR bar he set back in 2016, Lucroy was often commended for his leadership capabilities and became instrumental in guiding the club’s fragmented, oft-injured pitching staff to the playoffs. Once the A’s were unceremoniously bumped from the postseason, however, it proved rather difficult to put a price on those kinds of intangibles, and reports surfaced that contract negotiations had stalled with the two sides roughly $2.5 million apart. Now, Lucroy is positioned to take the reins behind the dish in Anaheim and will round out the Angels’ current catching trio alongside José Briceño and Kevan Smith.

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

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The Yankees and the Dodgers have a storied World Series history, having met in the Fall Classic 11 times. Part of what made those falls so classic was the livery worn by each club.

The Yankees’ uniforms have gone unchanged since 1936. The Dodgers, though changing cities in 1958, have had the same basic, classic look with only minor derivations for almost as long. You can’t even say the names of these teams without picturing pinstripes, those red Dodgers numbers, both teams’ clean road grays, the Yankees navy and the Dodgers’ Dodger blue.

They looked like a couple of expansion teams last night however, at least sartorially speaking.

As you probably know it’s Players’ Weekend this weekend, and teams all over the league wore either all black or all white with player-chosen nicknames on the back. We’ve had the nicknames for a couple of years now and that’s fine, but the black and white combo is new. It doesn’t look great, frankly. I riffed on that on Twitter yesterday a good bit. But beyond my mere distaste for the ensembles, they present a pretty problematic palette, too.

For one thing the guys in black blend in with the umpires. Quick, look at these infields and tell me who’s playing and who’s officiating:

The white batting helmets look especially bad:

But some guys — like Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, realized that pine tar makes the white helmets look super special:

There was also a general issue with the white-on-white uniforms in that it’s rather hard to read the names and the numbers on the backs of the jerseys. This was especially true during the Cubs-Nationals game in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll note this as a much bigger problem on Sunday. It’s all rather ironic, of course, that the players have been given the right to put fun, quirky nicknames on the backs of their jerseys but no one can really see them.

The SNY booth was reading many people’s minds last night, noting how much Mad Magazine “Spy vs. Spy” energy this is throwing off:

I’ll also note that if you’re flipping between games or looking at highlights on social media it’s super hard to even tell which team is which — and even what game’s highlights you’re seeing — just by looking which, you know, is sort of the point of having uniforms in the first place.

I’m glad the players have a weekend in which they’re allowed to wear what they want. I just wish they’d wear something better.