Jonathan Lucroy would like to be traded, and the Brewers’ price on the former on the All-Star catcher is reportedly very high. According to Phil Rogers, the Cubs “have been eyeing Lucroy throughout the Hot Stove season, hoping the Brewers would make him available.”
Phil Rogers is not the first to link the Cubs to Jonathan Lucroy this off-season. David Kaplan said the Cubs had interest in Lucroy around the Winter Meetings.
Jonathan Lucroy is coming off an injury shortened season in which he played only 103 games. Lucroy batted .264/.326/.391 with 20 doubles, three triples and seven home runs for a .717 OPS. Lucroy had a career-year at the plate in 2014 and established himself as one of the best catchers in the National League.
In 2014, Lucroy finished fourth in MVP voting after hitting .301/.373/.465 in 153 games with 53 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs for a .837 OPS.
Lucroy is under team control for two more seasons. Lucroy will make $4 million this year and has a team option on his contract for the 2017 season worth $5.25 million and includes a $25,000 buyout. Lucroy signed the incredibly team-friendly contract extension (five years, $11 million) in March 2012.
In his report, Phil Rogers looked at the five teams he thinks would be the best fits to trade for Lucroy. Rogers feels Lucroy could make a difference for the Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Astros and Cubs.
Under Rogers’ proposed trade that would land Lucroy in Chicago, the Cubs would have to involve the Rays and make it a three-team trade to get the deal done. Rogers would send Miguel Montero, Billy McKinney, Dan Vogelbach and a bunch of money to the Rays along with losing Albert Almora Jr. and Jeimer Candelario.
Rogers thinks the following makes sense for the Cubs, Brewers and Rays: The Brewers would acquire OF Albert Almora Jr. and 3B Jeimer Candelario from the Cubs. The Rays would send C Justin O’Conner and RHP Jacob Faria to the Brewers. The Rays would acquire Miguel Montero, OF Billy McKinney and 1B Dan Vogelbach. And the Cubs would walk away with Jonathan Lucroy and RHP Taylor Guerrieri. As for the money, the Cubs would send $18.5 million to Tampa to help pay for Montero.
RHP Taylor Guerrieri has a big arm. The 23-year old right-hander is coming off an excellent season in which he reached the Double-A level.
Guerrieri was 3-1 in eight starts for Double-A Montgomery in the Southern League with a 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. In 20 games, 18 starts, between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery, Guerrieri posted a 5-3 record with a 1.85 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Guerrieri completed 78 innings and allowed 23 runs, 16 earned, on 65 hits with 19 walks and 72 strikeouts.
With all due respect to Mr. Rogers, moving four of the organization’s top prospects, Miguel Montero and $18.5 million would be giving up too much for Jonathan Lucroy and a very good pitching prospect.
The Cubs may have interest in Jonathan Lucroy. And most teams should. When healthy he’s one of the best two-way catchers in baseball, plus his contract increases his value. The deal proposed by Phil Rogers would be an overpay and would not make much sense for the Cubs.