10:54pm: The Rangers could view a strike for Lucroy as a way to improve their pitching, given his highly-regarded work behind the plate, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. With Texas finding high asking prices on the pitching market, the report suggests, the club could make a move for a group of Milwaukee pieces that might include Lucroy, a quality reliever, and possibly even a starter.
3:41pm: There’s a mystery team involved on Lucroy, tweets Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, and it isn’t the Red Sox or the Mariners. Those two clubs would certainly have been among the plausible suitors for the veteran.
2:49pm: The Braves have inquired on Lucroy, according to Rosenthal (via Twitter). At present, though, it doesn’t appear as if the sides are likely to strike a deal. Atlanta’s interest is limited, it seems, because it would need to extend the veteran receiver in order to justify trading him.
The teams is “wary of paying twice” — first in the swap, then in a hypothetical extension — though certainly that’s the price of poker when just a fact of life for a club that would competing with teams that have a much higher present need for a top-quality backstop. It’s no sure thing, either, that Lucroy himself would agree to a new contract.
12:29pm: Yesterday, Milwaukee asked teams with interest to make offers of a certain “minimum standard,” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). It’s not entirely clear whether the request was for best and final offers, but Rosenthal adds that discussions are still taking place.
Among several teams to put their chips on the table are the Mets, per the report. With the Brewers still evaluating their options, multiple teams remain in the hunt.
11:27am: Jonathan Lucroy is one of the most talked-about names on the trade market right now, and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick adds some context to the complications in working out a deal, reporting the eight teams to which Lucroy can block a trade (Twitter link). Lucroy can block trades to the Twins, Angels, Athletics, Padres, Mariners, Nationals and, most interestingly, the Indians and Tigers. Both of the two latter teams have been connected to Lucroy in trade rumors this week, though both Crasnick and his colleague Jayson Stark were told this morning that the Tigers are no longer in the picture (links to Twitter).
Cleveland’s presence on Lucroy’s no-trade list certainly doesn’t preclude a deal from happening — Lucroy has candidly stated to the media that he wants to play for a contending team on multiple occasions in the past six months — but it does further complicate matters for the Indians. While Lucroy’s postseason aspirations could make him willing, to some extent, to waive his no-trade rights, he could also wield that clause as leverage in an attempt to coerce the Indians into an extension or, at the very least, restructuring his contract to give him a raise on next year’s wildly affordable $5.25MM salary.
The Indians are said to be discussing Lucroy and left-hander Will Smith with the Brewers, but they face competition even if the Tigers and Astros are out of the market, as has been reported recently. The Rangers, Red Sox and Mets — none of whom are on his no-trade list — have all still been linked to Lucroy, and a premium player of his value figures to draw widespread interest. (Indeed, FanRag’s Jon Heyman last night again mentioned a mystery team in the mix.) The Mets were said to offer a package centered around Travis d’Arnaud, which was quickly dismissed, but FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reported last night that the two side “re-engaged” on trade talks. ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin adds a bit more detail to that story this morning, reporting that the Brewers circled back with the Mets and proposed a counter-offer that “was not out-of-hand rejected.” The Mets, he notes, have no intention of dealing either shortstop prospect Amed Rosario or first base prospect Dominic Smith, though.