11:25am: Hoynes reports that the Indians weren’t planning on cutting Lucroy’s playing time in 2017. Hoynes’ source indicated to him that the club wouldn’t have been willing to part with the level of talent it had agreed to without having every intention of allowing Lucroy to start behind the plate (links to Twitter).
10:35am: Brewers GM David Stearns tells reporters that Lucroy talks with the Indians are “totally dead” (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy), while Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that the Indians are no longer negotiating with Lucroy.
10:29am: Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (via Twitter) that Lucroy asked the Indians to void his 2017 club option in order to hit the open market at the end of the season in order to approve the deal (Twitter link). Understandably, Cleveland was in no way willing to meet that request, as the option is a significant factor in Lucroy’s value to the club. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, meanwhile reports that the Indians weren’t promising Lucroy that he’d be their starting catcher in 2017, which gave him pause in approving the deal. Cleveland planned to rotate Lucroy between catcher, first base and DH in 2017.
10:15am: ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that the efforts to convince Lucroy to approve the trade will continue, so the book on the proposed trade may not be fully closed just yet. Lucroy, it should be noted, is on one of the most team-friendly contracts in Major League Baseball, and teams will often utilize financial incentives to convince players to waive no-trade clauses. An extension or at least a restructuring of his 2017 salary ($5.25MM) could make sense, though that’s simply speculation on my behalf.
9:58am: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Jonathan Lucroy has exercised his no-trade clause and vetoed a trade that would have sent him to the Indians in exchange for four prospects (Twitter link).
It was reported last night that the Brewers and Indians had agreed to a trade sending Lucroy to Cleveland in exchange for four minor leaguers: catcher Francisco Mejia, shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang, outfielder Greg Allen and right-hander Shawn Armstrong. However, despite repeated statements about his desire to play for a contending club, Lucroy has chosen not to play for the Indians, who were one of the eight teams to which he could veto a trade under his contract’s limited no-trade provision.
Of course, the fact that Lucroy didn’t approve this trade doesn’t ensure that he’ll be remaining with Milwaukee. There are 21 teams to which Lucroy cannot block a deal, and two of those clubs — the Rangers and Mets — have both been linked to him frequently within the past week. For the time being, however, Lucroy will remain with the only organization he’s ever known, as GM David Stearns and his staff determine the next-best course of action.
If Cleveland still wants to acquire another catcher, there’s not shortage of available options. Division-rival Kurt Suzuki of the Twins figures to be available and is in the midst of a strong offensive season, while the Padres’ Derek Norris is also widely known to be available. Neither represents the upgrade that Lucroy would have to the Cleveland roster, but considering the dearth of production from incumbent options Yan Gomes (who is now injured), Chris Gimenez and Roberto Perez, a catching acquisition still seems like it would be prudent for the Indians, who are in clear go-for-it mode after acquiring Andrew Miller this morning.