In the ultimate no-brainer decision, the Rangers will exercise star catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s $5.25MM club option for 2017.
Lucroy, whom the Rangers acquired from the Brewers prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, will continue as one of the game’s most reasonably priced standouts for another season. Between Texas and Milwaukee, he batted a stellar .292/.355/.500 with 24 home runs in 544 plate appearances. That came after Lucroy battled injuries in 2015 and hit a disappointing .264/.326/.391 with seven homers in 415 PAs. Aside from that season, the 30-year-old has been among the game’s premier all-around catchers since 2012. As has typically been the case, Lucroy graded out quite well as a pitch framer this year, per both Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner.
The 2017 campaign will be Lucroy’s last under the five-year, $11MM extension he inked with the Brewers in 2012. Whether via an extension with the Rangers or a deal with another team in free agency a year from now, Lucroy should become one of the sport’s highest-paid catchers sometime within the next 12-plus months.