MLB Hot Stove: Athletics reportedly reach agreement to sign Jonathan Lucroy
Lucroy represents an upgrade behind the plate
A week and a half ago, the players union filed a grievance against four revenue sharing recipients with low payrolls. The Oakland Athletics, projected to open the season with the American League's lowest payroll, were one of the four.
Lucroy, 32 in June, split last season between the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies. He struggled in his 77 games with the Rangers, but he hit .310/.428/.437 with eight more walks than strikeouts following the trade. Overall, he's posted a 102 OPS+ since 2015.
Although Lucroy used to be one of the better defensive backstops in the game, his framing metrics have slipped in recent years -- from being worth nearly 20 runs in 2014 to costing his teams nearly 20 runs in 2017. Nonetheless, his league-average potential with the stick gives him value -- particularly for a team like the A's, who don't value framing and who were scheduled to platoon Bruce Maxwell and Josh Phegley.
The A's could still use a veteran starter, but Lucroy's addition cements their solid-looking lineup. And who knows, perhaps Lucroy will prove beneficial to their young arms.
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