Jonathan Lucroy heads to Colorado

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Catcher Jonathan Lucroy #25 of the Texas Rangers catches the ball at the plate as the Baltimore Orioles scored two runs in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 18, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

On a trade between the Texas Rangers and the Colorado Rockies, Jonathan Lucroy will be headed to the Colorado Rockies.  While the Rockies received veteran backstop Lucroy, the Texas Rangers  will be receiving a player to be named later.

Jonathan Lucroy heads to Colorado

The Rockies, who have have seen some underwhelming production with their in house options at the catcher’s position this year, are looking for some reliability in the box, and also a veteran presence as a back stop.  Tom Murphy, who has hit .050 in 20 at bats, was expected to play a major role in the Rockies organization but has suffered from injury most of the season and was optioned to the minors after struggling coming back from the DL. Tony Wolters, who is hitting .250 in 2017,  has also been underperfoming this season and other options such as former Reds backstop Ryan Hanigan and Dustin Garneau have shown much impact during their time in the majors. Colorado is hoping that Lucroy can be the answer to their lack of production at the catcher’s position as well as a veteran presence as a backstop. Picking up Jonathan Lucroy also will not hurt the Rockies payroll much, as Lucroy is only earning $5.25 MM, and is only owed $1.8 million before reaching the open market at the end the 2017 season.

Jonathan Lucroy who currently holds a .242/.297/.348 with four home runs, will need to will need to heat up down the stretch for this trade to be beneficial for the Rockies. Lucroy has been known for doing a stellar job of framing his pitches, but, his framing has declined in 2017. Through his break out season in 2012 to 2016,  Lucroy has put up  a .291/ .353/.465 slash line which has been the type of production more common in  corner outfielders than  backstops, and he built a reputation for being a  top tier defensive catcher with his art of pitch framing. For Lucroy to improve on his current .242/.297/.348 batting line,  is his decline in his contact and power. He is currently making hard contact 22.3% of his at bats and is putting the ball on the ground 56.3% of his ABs. Lucroy’s isolated power has seen a decline in his isolated power numbers from .153 to  a current .096. Although Lucroy is  currently only striking out at 10.1% rate, he has seen a drop off in his walk percentages, walking less than 6.2% of his at bats.

For the Texas Rangers, moving Jonathan Lucroy  could mean the beginning of moving other key pieces of the Rangers organization. Teams have taken interest in right hander Yu Darvish. Other pieces will likely be available, such as relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Keone Kela and upcoming free agents Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli  will be available as well.

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