Jonathan Lucroy exercises no-trade clause, vetoes trade to Indians
The best catcher available is back on the market
Lucroy has decided to veto the swap through the execution of his no-trade clause, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Jonathan Lucroy has exercised his no-trade clause and vetoed trade from #Brewers to Indians. Details to come.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 31, 2016
So, that means Lucroy is back with the Brewers, the prospects are back to the Indians, and the rest of the league has another chance to grab the best available catcher in the next 24 hours. And what caused this? Would you believe concerns about playing time?
Lucroy either 1. doesn't realize his own worth and/or 2. doesn't realize Yan Gomes has struggled for a year-plus now. That, or this is a couched way of saying he doesn't want to go to a team who could conceivably shop him around again this winter, depending on their incumbent's health. Whatever the case, this is a bad development for both teams.
The Brewers will now re-enter negotiations with less leverage than they previously held. After all, Lucroy rejecting a trade could be viewed only as a theory before -- not a precedent. The good news, if there is any here, is that Lucroy cannot block a trade to the two other teams most often linked to him (the Mets and Rangers). The Dodgers have also been tied to Lucroy. At the same time, the Brewers clearly didn't find either of their packages' to be the best of the bunch, meaning they might have to take a lesser return to complete a trade. Brutal.
Ditto for the Indians. Though they've since added Andrew Miller, Cleveland could still stand to upgrade behind the plate. Presumably, that means looking at someone like Padres backstop Derek Norris, who seems to be the most practical fit. While he's having a miserable season (he entered Sunday hitting .193/.253/.360), he's shown in the past the ability to contribute on both sides of the ball. Norris is also under team control through the 2018 season, meaning he could be a long-term piece. He's not as good as Lucroy, but that comparison no longer seems relevant from Cleveland's perspective.
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