Current Milwaukee Brewers All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy is reportedly seeking his way out of Milwaukee. Lucroy hinted at the Brewers today in an interview with Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that, maybe, it would be “for the best” if the team mutually parted ways with the catcher and found a winning team as a trade partner. Though Lucroy is not necessarily demanding a trade, he absolutely would not say no if the opportunity to get the heck out of Dodge were presented to him. The Brewers, who finished 4th in the terrific NL Central last season with a 68-94 record, are certainly still in the rebuilding process as a club and are not expected to be a contender in 2016. Lucroy stated that he wishes to be traded to a contender because he wants to play in a World Series. Lucroy also said it’s not about money, but a desire to win.
In an injury plagued 2015 season, Lucroy hit .264/.326/.391 with only 7 home runs and 43 runs batted in. Lucroy will certainly be playing with a chip on his shoulder this year to show that the 29-year-old catcher from Florida can still play with the league’s elite. Lucroy will be entering his final year of his five-year, $10.28 million contract, all though the Brewers will have the opportunity to bring him back with a $5.25 million team-option in 2017.
Lucroy has logged over 5,000 innings at catcher so far in his six-year career and is entering his age-30 season. He missed time last year with a concussion and was forced to move to first base late in the season. Lucroy will turn 30 in June, and last season’s injuries may have helped him see the limited shelf life of an elite MLB catcher. There are no guarantees his body will hold up long enough to play for a winner in Milwaukee; time to move on.
The Brewers will now be faced with the difficult task of trying to get the right package in return for the aging catcher. Milwaukee reportedly is looking for a hefty package in return for Lucroy and has had no luck with finding a suitor in the past, and with Lucroy not getting any younger, this will make it even more difficult for the team to find a new home for Lucroy. If Lucroy gets off to a hot start, trading him will become that much easier.