10:40pm: The Indians are the “distinct favorites” to acquire Lucroy from the Brewers, reports Yahoo’s Jeff Passan (on Twitter), who adds that the Mets and Rangers are “out” on Lucroy.
7:58pm: A mystery team remains in the mix for Lucroy, according to Heyman (Twitter link). The unknown team is not on Lucroy’s no-trade list, he adds. Rosenthal hears the same, tweeting that there’s a third team in play along with the Indians and Mets.
5:05pm: The Rangers are out on Lucroy and the Mets didn’t make any headway on talks with the Brewers today, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Cleveland is looking more and more like the favorite, he notes.
4:40pm: The Brewers are “getting close” to a Lucroy trade, and the Indians are still in the mix, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Notably, Cleveland is on Lucroy’s no-trade list, though it’s not clear how much (if at all) that fact would impede talks. Lucroy has stated his desire to play for a winning club multiple times this year, and Cleveland has a 4.5 game lead on the AL Central.
4:34pm: Rosenthal tweets that a pair of rival general managers believe the Indians to be the front-runners for Lucroy. Rosenthal mentions Class-A catcher Francisco Mejia as a possible component in a Lucroy package.
3:43pm: Manager Craig Counsell tells reporters that GM David Stearns is “progressing” on a Lucroy trade (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy). USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that there is a “strong sense” among some Brewers officials that Lucroy has played his final game for the team.
3:31pm: Lucroy isn’t in the lineup tonight, and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that he is not playing because he is being discussed in trades.
2:00pm: The Mets have made a three-player offer to the Brewers in a bid to land catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. That package would be centered around current Mets receiver Travis d’Arnaud, with outfielder Brandon Nimmo or a “comparable” player constituting the second player on offer.
Previous reports had suggested that New York fell shy in its initial bid for Lucroy, which reportedly also was built on the talented but fragile d’Arnaud. He comes with three years of arb control and has long been regarded as a top catching prospect, so Milwaukee would be swapping in a longer-term solution behind the plate — if it believes in him.
Though d’Arnaud has showed his talent at times, he has also already been shelved with injuries at times and hasn’t yet put it all together at the plate. After a strong showing in 2015, d’Arnaud has fallen back to a .238/.291/.323 batting line with a pair of home runs in his 141 plate appearances this season.
As for Nimmo, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that Milwaukee is “fond” of the 23-year-old, who has reached the majors for the first time this year. He hasn’t shown much in his brief action in the bigs, but has enjoyed something of a breakout year at Triple-A, where he owns a .336/.409/.517 slash that dwarfs his prior output while rising through the system.
There certainly appear to be many other teams still in pursuit of Lucroy. The Brewers reportedly asked interested teams to submit bids for the outstanding receiver, whose highly favorable contract includes another year of cheap control. Lucroy received plenty of attention in the rumor mill yesterday, with a range of teams — including those of the mysterious variety — said to be sniffing around.
It’s not yet clear, though, what kinds of offers Milwaukee has fielded from other organizations. The club has placed an understandably high asking price on a player who is one of the best in the majors at a premium defensive position. There may not be any single team that has a desperate need for him, but as the Mets’ interest shows, clubs looking for ways to make and succeed in the postseason always have cause to pursue upgrades, and Lucroy is the type of player who can push out even a perfectly solid regular.