The Red Sox announced Thursday that they’ve formally added catcher Jonathan Lucroy to their 60-man player pool. Lucroy joins the pool as a non-roster player and brings Boston’s total to 48 players (37 members of the 40-man roster and 11 non-roster invitees).
Lucroy, 34, inked a minor league deal with the Red Sox over the winter and reportedly reworked that deal in recent days before being formally added to the player pool. He’ll give the Sox a sixth catcher, joining Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki, Jett Bandy, Juan Centeno and Connor Wong.
The 2019 season marked the third consecutive year of what has been a precipitous decline for Lucroy. Once arguably the game’s best all-around catcher, Lucroy batted just .232/.305/.355 between the Angels and Cubs last season and has posted a tepid .248/.315/.350 slash in 1263 plate appearances since Opening Day 2017. His formerly vaunted pitch-framing skills have taken a nosedive and now rate below the league average, and Lucroy’s caught-stealing rate has dipped since peaking at 39 percent in 2016.
That said, as far as depth options go, there’s plenty of value in bringing a two-time All-Star and 10-year big league veteran into camp to help work with the pitching staff and provide a safety net in the event of injuries elsewhere in the catching corps. Lucroy is also quite familiar with Boston skipper Ron Roenicke, who managed the 2011-15 Brewers when Lucroy was one of the club’s best players.