The Red Sox announced Thursday that they’ve selected the contracts of catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right-hander Dylan Covey. Recent signee Zack Godley didn’t make the cut, nor did right-hander Chris Mazza, but both will report to the organization’s alternate training site. The Red Sox also recalled righties Colten Brewer and Phillips Valdez as well as southpaws Matt Hall, Josh Osich and Jeffrey Springs.
Lucroy, 34, gives the Sox another catching option alongside Christian Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki. He’s not the All-Star-caliber player he once was, but he’ll give the club plenty of experience to help out with a patchwork pitching staff.
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.
Covey, 28, has pitched 250 1/3 innings in the big leagues but has never cemented himself as a consistent contributor. He got out to a sharp start with the ChiSox in 2018, tossing 40 1/3 innings with a 2.90 ERA and a 35-to-16 K/BB ratio, but his results quickly went south and haven’t rebounded since despite several opportunities. All told, he has a career 6.54 ERA and 5.56 FIP in the big leagues.
Still, Covey was at one point a first-round pick and lasted less than two weeks as a free agent this winter when the White Sox cut him loose. Covey quickly caught on with the Rays, with whom current Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom worked his way from intern to senior VP of baseball operations. Bloom was already with the Red Sox when Covey landed in Tampa Bay, but it seems likely that the Rays had some interest in the righty dating back to Bloom’s days with the team.