A week that started with the Colorado Rockies dealing for All-Star reliever Pat Neshek, the club addressed the position at the other end of the battery, acquiring catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Texas Rangers on Sunday for a player to be named later.
Lucroy had been rumored as a possible trade candidate for Colorado, even as recently as Friday when Denver Post Rockies beat reporter Patrick Saunders told Sandy Clough a move for the two-time All-Star was “certainly a possibility.”
The trade marks a return for Lucroy to the National League, where he spent most of seven seasons as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers before being traded to the Rangers midway through last season.
Since being shipped to Texas after an All-Star first half of 2016, Lucroy’s offensive number dipped a bit. In 124 games this season and last, he’s batted .254/.314/.409, compared to his career 162-game average of .280/.339/.433.
However, Lucroy sports a higher offensive WAR (0.1) than any of the catchers on the Rockies roster — Tony Wolters (-0.5), Tom Murphy (-0.3) Dustin Garneau (-0.1), and Ryan Hanigan (-0.1).
Saunders said the move for Neshek — and subsequently Lucroy — were important for the Rockies not only to bring in players at positions of need but also to show its players and fan base that the club all-in.
“It was important for management to do something important to show this team and its fan base they really are willing to go for it. And we’ll see what the next step may or may not be,” Saunders said ahead of the Lucroy trade.
And Colorado could not be finished. Saunders said it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Rockies brought in another bullpen arm, preferably someone who could be under contract for longer than the 2017 campaign.
“It wouldn’t shock me if they try to land another right-handed reliever, somebody who might be in their control beyond just this summer because Lucroy, he’s a rental, essentially. And they’re going to lose Greg Holland at the end of this year most likely,” Saunders said.
“So, I think there’s some more work to be done by (general manager) Jeff Bridich and the front office.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.
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