Jonathan Lucroy is probably not going to be traded. Let's just start out with that. The Brewers seem pretty unwilling to part with their star catcher -- Lucroy is a top-3 catcher in the league right now, and signed to a team friendly deal.
That said, someone offering an impossible-to-turn-down package could -- could -- potentially pry Lucroy away from the Brewers. However, there aren't many teams who would be able to offer such a deal at this point. The Twins, however, are one of those teams that could. And as it would happen, the Twins are 'closely monitoring' catchers who might be available in trades, including Jonathan Lucroy.
You want top prospects? The Twins have them. Byron Buxton is one of the very best prospects in the game. Miguel Sano is a premier infield prospect, and is capable of playing third base. Pitchers Jose Berrios and Alex Meyer were B+ prospects according to John Sickels prior to 2015. Same with shortstop Nick Gordon. Nine other players were B/B- prospects.
So what I'm saying basically is that the Twins absolutely have the prospects to make a Lucroy trade work. I can dream about a deal centered around Miguel Sano. Whether the two sides would be able to come to an agreement is a different question.
What's interesting is that the Twins are looking for a catcher that's more of a long-term replacement, and not just a quick fix. That's Jonathan Lucroy, to be sure. We've hashed over this time and time again, but great hitter, great defender, signed to a great deal through 2017. Lucroy is what every team wants, basically. And he's exactly what the Twins are looking for, if they want someone to stick around.
This year, the Twins have been rolling out Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki has not hit well this year, to say the least, though he had a pretty decent year for them in 2014. Still, Suzuki is more of a second catcher at this point in his career.
Lucroy isn't the only catcher available, but he's the best that could be had. Other guys the Twins are 'closely monitoring' include A.J. Pierzynski, Derek Norris and Alex Avila. Lucroy is better than all of them. But the Twins are in contention now and with their farm system could be for some time. Do they want to part with a big chunk of that to have a long-term catcher? It's possible, given how difficult it is to find a good backstop. And the Twins would still be able to keep a large share of those top prospects.
The Twins are monitoring Lucroy because every team would be interested in Lucroy if they thought they could get him for what they consider to be a good deal. The Brewers probably have a different idea than most teams about what will constitute a good deal, though, and that means Lucroy is unlikely to change teams this year.
Just 10 days until the trade deadline!