The unfortunate injury to Yan Gomes has made the Jonathon Lucroy situation considerably more intriguing.
The quote from the Indians is the predictable response...They don’t want to sound desperate. And, of course, maybe they aren’t. Perhaps they do think that Perez can handle the staff, and they obviously know that he won’t hit any worse than Gomes was producing (.165/.198/.313). There are also other catchers available, but why make a trade for an available catcher if you aren’t going after the best? It is also worth noting that the Indians have Gomes under club control for another three seasons plus two option years thanks to the long-term deal he signed in 2014.
Whether the Indians are more interested in Luc or not, other teams have to operate under the assumption that they are, and if they have a serious interest in him they could very well be more motivated than they were yesterday. I was of the opinion that this would go down to August 1st, as David Stearns was waiting for someone to meet his requests and teams were waiting for him to accept their offers, before they met somewhere in the middle.
The Rangers know what the Brewers want (even if we don’t know). Will we find out that Stearns will hold firm and not trade an asset for less than he values it? That might be an important lesson for teams to learn, although it is hard for me to think that Lucroy will ever have more value in a trade for the Brewers than he does right now. The trading partner will get Lucroy for a year and a half, as well as likely netting a compensatory pick in 2018 should he leave via free agency. Or they can turn around and flip him in 2017 if they deem it necessary.
It is difficult for me to credit rumors from any team other than the Rangers, Indians, or Red Sox. Those three teams, among the contenders, have the most to gain from a deal. Both the Rangers and Indians have to feel that striking now, while the iron is hot, is imperative. There is no guarantee of contention from year to year, and they are so close right now. The Red Sox have a very good team, and expect to contend yearly, but will lose David Ortiz after this year and might be sorely tempted to add that piece. Plus, the Red Sox could afford to offer Luc a deal if both sides would be interested. Maybe they'd have interest in Chris Carter to sweeten the deal.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs