Jonathan Lucroy Rumors

Brewers, Lucroy Nearing Extension

The Brewers are nearing an extension with catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report (Twitter link). The deal with the Sports One Athlete Management client would be either four or five years long. An announcement is expected today, Morosi tweets.

Lucroy is about to start his third season in the Major Leagues. A four-year extension would cover the 25-year-old's final pre-arbitration season and three of his arbitration seasons, assuming the deal starts this year and that Lucroy obtains super two status following the 2012 season. A five-year deal that kicks in immediately would cover his final pre-arbitration season and all four of his arbitration seasons.

Lucroy posted a .265/.313/.391 line in 468 plate appearances last year, preventing 28% of stolen base attempts against him. However, the 2007 third round selection frames and blocks pitches well, according to The Fielding Bible Volume III.

Recent extensions have generally placed the value of a starting catcher's first three arbitration years in the $7-10MM range, as MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows. A four-year deal for Lucroy would figure to fall on the low end of that range given his relative inexperience.

This post was first published on March 26th, 2012.


NL Central Notes: Kotsay, Wainwright, Lucroy

Adam Wainwright's potentially season-threatening injury is grabbing a lot of headlines today. Here's more on that and some other items of note coming out of the NL Central.

  • The Brewers' deal with Mark Kotsay includes a few incentives, blogs Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Here's the breakdown: Kotsay's base salary if for $800K, and he can earn up to $450K in incentives. He'll earn $25K each if he reaches 125 and 150 plate appearances, $50K each for 175 and 200 PAs, $50K each for 40, 60, 80 and 100 games started, and $100K if he's on the roster on July 1.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak remains pessimistic about Wainwright's injury after speaking to a team doctor, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wainwright will get a second opinion on his ailing right elbow on Thursday, and the club will decide on a treatment plan from there, writes Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch.
  • Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy is expected to miss four weeks after suffering a broken right pinky during blocking drills on Wednesday, according to a club press release. The injury will require surgery, but Brewers GM Doug Melvin said, "We feel OK for now," when asked whether he'd be pursuing another backstop, blogs McCalvy.
  • Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes was apparently celebrating Wainwright's injury, writes Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Seeing as it's all in the name of competition, and the Reds' chance of winning the NL Central jumped significantly on account of Wainwright's injury, Gomes' reaction is not a big deal, writes Rob Neyer of SBNation.com. Gomes, however, said that his reaction was misconstrued and that he'd never celebrate another player's injury, blogs Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

Brewers Set At Catcher For Now, Open To Options

Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Brewers are content with catchers George Kottaras and Jonathan Lucroy, though the club may consider pursuing another backstop. Gregg Zaun has a torn labrum and may miss the entire season, so the Brewers are left with a relatively inexperienced catching tandem – the duo has a combined 69 games of big league experience. Melvin says he's "open" to improving the club, but sounds content with Kottaras and Lucroy.

"We're going to go with what we have for now," Melvin said. "We talked about whether we need more depth at Triple A, but there are no catchers really available. A few guys have gone through waivers but they're all backup types."

Those backup types – players like Paul Hoover and Paul Phillips – could be available, but they're not as appealing as an experienced big leaguer like A.J. Pierzynski. The White Sox have said they are not shopping their players yet and Melvin says he wouldn't want to meet the asking price for Pierzynski.

"I'm not sure I want to give up the players they'd be looking for to do that," Melvin said.

It will be easier to deal for Pierzynski before June 14th, when he picks up ten and five rights. Haudricourt notes that Brewers catching prospect Angel Salome has left Triple A Nashville for mental health reasons.