Rockies acquire catcher Jonathan Lucroy to beef up catching position

Posted at 9:07 PM, Jul 30, 2017

DENVER -- The front office believes in this Rockies team. 

General manager Jeff Bridrich drove home this point Sunday with his second stealth trade in a week, acquiring veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later. 

Lucroy, 31, boasts a resume with two all-star berths and a reputation as one of the game's better two-way catchers. In a down year, he's batting .242, well below his career .280 average. However, he owns 19 extra-base hits compared to a combined 13 by Ryan Hanigan and Tony Wolters. 

Manager Bud Black praised Lucroy's experience. He will join the Rockies when they begin a six-game homestand Tuesday against the Mets and Phillies.

"Getting Jonathan, it gives us a guy with a veteran presence just like Ryan Hanigan as our young starters go into unchartered territory the next two months," Rockies manager Bud Black told reporters in Washington following Colorado's 3-1 loss in the nightcap of a doubleheader. "His track record is pretty good. He's had success offensively and defensively. We should feel good about him."

With the Rangers drifting out of contention, they moved Lucroy with an eye toward giving at-bats to younger players. Lucroy made the All-Star team in 2014 and 2016, and caught Rockies relievers Pat Neshek, acquired from Philadelphia earlier this week, and Jake McGee in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA. While Lucroy played well last season for Texas, he struggled this year as wild pitches piled up. The hope is that Lucroy benefits from a fresh start. It is a low-risk -- the Rockies are on the hook for roughly $1.7 million of his remaining salary -- and potential high reward.

He reached the postseason in 2011 and 2016. 

I reached out to a pair of veteran scouts, one in the National League and another in the American League, for their take on the deal. Both were bullish about the move.

"(During career) he has done an outstanding job defensively, especially calling games and handling young pitchers," the NL scout said. "He's a good framer, and gives you a professional at-bat."

The American League scout added, "He has been down this year, but he has always been a solid all-around catcher. He knows how to handle a staff and can handle the bat. I really like this pickup."




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