Two potential landing spots for Jonathon Lucroy stepped back a bit from the All Star catcher yesterday, with the Rangers and Indians declining much interest.
The Rangers, long the "favorite" in the Lucroy Sweepstakes, look to be more interested in starting pitching than the catcher position, according to Roger Mallison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as cited by Connor Byrne in his MLBTR Originals column.
Rangers' GM Jon Daniels feels that the rotation needs the most help, although Yu Darvish has now rejoined that group. The competition for starters is more fierce than for catchers, of course, as virtually every team has holes in their rotation. In looking at the starting pitchers available, there seems to be more in the way of quantity than quality. The trade of Drew Pomerantz removed the top arm available, as the Red Sox saw the lack of quality available and acted decisively. Rich Hill, at 36 and with an expiring contract in Oakland, is viewed a possibly the best option known to be available. We are not impressed. The Rays have three starters rumored to be available in Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Matt Moore.
Byrne also discusses the Indians' catcher situation, and his conclusion is that they will stick with Yan Gomes despite his horrible season at the plate. It seems that the Indians are fine with his defensive work, and a slash of .163/.198/.310 works for them. When you are winning, you ignore issues. I'm not sure that is the best approach, but if it works who am I to say differently. The Indians are playing well as a team and Gomes may be a leader in the clubhouse for them. However, it appears his hitting will soon show a marked improvement.
If you are going to trade for a catcher to improve your team, wouldn't it be a good idea to get somebody that would actually do that? Steve Adams thinks that there is only one catcher available that fits that category.
So it looks like a slow Sunday on the trade front, and with two full weeks left until the deadline that isn't very surprising. I was surprised last night that Jeremy Jeffress didn't get some work in the ninth with the Brewers up 9-1. He hasn't pitched since July 10th, and Craig Counsell has worked to keep him fresh all season in these situations. I read way more into things at this time of year, as does anybody following the trade market, so maybe it was just keeping him fresh. But I couldn't help but wonder if the Brewers don't want to risk a bad outing hurting his line in a game that wasn't a save situation. Perhaps I'm overthinking this.