Report: White Sox, Jonathan Lucroy agree to minor league deal

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The White Sox have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy, giving them another option behind Yasmani Grandal.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed Chicago’s deal Thursday on condition of anonymity because the move was pending a physical.

The 34-year-old Lucroy appeared in one game with Boston last season, serving as an eighth-inning defensive replacement on opening day of the pandemic-shortened season. In 2019, he batted .232 with eight homers and 36 RBIs in 101 games with the Angels and Cubs.

Grandal and James McCann were the primary catchers for the White Sox last year, forming one of the best duos in the majors. But McCann became a free agent and agreed to a $40.6 million, four-year deal with the New York Mets.

Zack Collins, a first-round pick in the 2016 amateur draft, also should be in the mix for the backup job behind Grandal. The White Sox also have Yermin Mercedes and Seby Zavala on their 40-man roster.

Lucroy made his big league debut in 2010 with Milwaukee. The two-time All-Star is a .274 hitter with 108 homers and 545 RBIs in 1,203 games, also playing for Texas, Colorado and Oakland.

Lucroy was one of the majors’ most productive catchers from 2011-16, but his numbers have dropped off in recent years. He had a big league-best 53 doubles with the Brewers in 2014.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.