Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Plausibility Meter: Where Jonathan Lucroy Lands

Every year...there is one definite trade-baited guy, who everybody knows is gonna land somewhere, and everybody starts placing bets as to where. Two years ago it was David Price. This year, it's Jonathan Lucroy.

Lucroy is a fantastic hitting catcher, and has been for a good couple years in Milwaukee, but sadly is one of the few bright spots to a somehow-4th-place squad, and, as one of the few non-tendered Brewers, will be off to join any squad he wants by season's end, or, more likely, be traded to any playoff contender by the end of July.

So, here is the likelihood of teams who could snatch up Jonathan Lucroy by the trade deadline:

Red Sox- 2 to 1. This one makes the most sense to me. in Boston, the only real position that's not covered by someone hitting monstrously is Catcher. Christian Vazquez is the starter, but he's not the greatest hitter, and is still finding his way. The other options are Ryan Hanigan, who's essentially a professional backup at this point, and Blake Swihart, who's been pushed to a utility man position. if Boston keeps the momentum going, they'll need a surefire catcher, so Lucroy would make the most sense. Not the hugest fan of this being the most plausible option, but these are the facts.

Mariners- 3 to 1. For the second or third year in a row, the Mariners' biggest problem has been the lack of hitting in the catcher's position. Yes, they've gotten rid of Mike Zunino, who had been lackluster for too damned long behind the plate, but with the presence of Chris Iannetta and Steve Clevenger, the former at a smidge over .200, the latter below the Mendoza line, the position hasn't gotten any less mediocre. Plus, both options are over 30. Lucroy is younger, more impressive and more well-rounded. The Mariners need as much well-rounded as they can. The only problem is staying around in the standings until July.

Rangers- 6 to 1. Some caveats here. The Rangers have been starting Bryan Holaday, but Bobby Wilson, their current backup, has an impressive average. Chirinos is injured, which is why they're in this conundrum in the first place. If they stay afloat as the division leaders for another month, they'll need a surefire answer at catcher, and Lucroy will work there. However, Holaday and/or Wilson could be the answer, or Chirinos could come back hot. Again, this one isn't as solid as some of the others.

White Sox- 9 to 1. If the Sox are still leaping for a pennant in July, they could go for an extra roster pickup just to blow themselves ahead of the pack. However, right now they still have Dioner Navarro, and he's doing well enough to stay on the roster, despite not being a great defensive catcher anymore. As a matter of fact, their backup, Alex Avila, isn't great at defense either, which would warrant Lucroy's inclusion. However, with two solid-enough options at catcher, the Sox aren't the highest on the list, but still could factor in.

And three spoilers that might grab him, regardless of needs:

Mets- Their usual option at catcher. Travis D'Arnaud, is, as usual, injured. Their backup, Kevin Plawecki, is hitting atrociously, and their backup, Rene Rivera, can only do so much. I'm not sure if they exactly need Lucroy, but if they decide that enough is enough waiting for D'Arnaud to heal, they could always cockblock everyone else and nab him at the last second. Besides, Lucroy could hit pretty well in Citifield.

Dodgers- This one's a major longshot, but here me out. By July, the Dodgers will need literally anything they can get to get ahead of the Giants, if they're not there already. If they're still buyers, Lucroy could be a step up on both catching options, as Grandal's lost steam, and Ellis is, as usual, not the greatest hitter. But then again, they could decide, which is very likely, that AJ Ellis is good enough for them, and can hold down the position well enough. I'm putting them here because they're a possibility of a spoiler, even if they probably won't.

Cubs- Now, if they want to cement their status as the absolute top buyer in baseball, the Cubs can trade a few of their prospects for Lucroy and cakewalk to the World Series. I don't particularly think this is going to happen, because their main option at catcher, David Ross, is having a wonderful last hurrah of a season, and is working a ton better than their other option, Miguel Montero.

So, this is where we stand on where Lucroy could go. However, it is only June, and twenty-thousand other things could happen from now until the deadline. So we'll see how this goes.

Coming Tonight- Speaking of the Brewers, he made it out, and is currently a home-run hitter for another 4th place team.

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