Lucroy cleared waivers Thursday and has elected free agency, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. Lucroy was designated for assignment by the Nationals on Monday, but he was unable to find another spot on a 40-man roster. Rather than serving as organizational depth for the Nationals, the 34-year-old will be free to sign with another team at some point in 2021. Lucroy appeared in five games for Washington this year and went 5-for-14 with a double and two RBI.
The Nationals designated Lucroy for assignment Monday. Lucroy stuck around with the Nationals for a few days as a third catcher after Yan Gomes and Alex Avila were both activated from the COVID-19 injured list Friday, but he became expendable when Washington reinstated three more players from the list Monday. Unless another team opts to put in a claim for Lucroy, he'll likely head to the Nationals' alternate site upon clearing waivers.
Lucroy isn't starting the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader against Atlanta. Lucroy went 1-for-3 with a strikeout in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader. However, Tres Barrera will take his place behind the dish for the nightcap, batting eighth.
Lucroy will catch for the Nationals and bat eighth in Tuesday's season opener versus Atlanta, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. Lucroy and Tres Barrera were both promoted to the 26-man roster Tuesday after the top two catchers on the depth chart -- Yan Gomes and Alex Avila -- were placed on the COVID-19 injured list. With Gomes and Avila both expected to remain in quarantine for at least a week while they wait to clear the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Lucroy looks poised to serve as the Nationals' top catcher to begin the season. The two-time All-Star has drawn positive reviews in the past for his skills as a pitch framer, but he hasn't finished with an OPS over .700 in any season since 2017.
Lucroy has made the Nationals' Opening Day roster. Lucroy joined the team on a minor-league deal Saturday but will be needed right away due to the team's COVID-19 outbreak. Neither Yan Gomes nor Alex Avila made the roster, both presumably due to the league's health and safety protocols. Lucroy may be in position to start the first game of the year just three days after joining his new team, though the nod could also go to Tres Barrera.