Well, the BN Blogathon is starting out with a bang. Or, that is to say, I’m waking up to a trade that may have already gone down.
Yesterday, the Milwaukee Brewers sat starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy as a tacit – and then explicit – acknowledgment that trade talks had advanced to the point where it was prudent not to play him. Then, late last night, word broke that a deal with the Cleveland Indians, one of Lucroy’s most persistent pursuers according to previous rumors, had been struck:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2016
The deal is not yet official, as Lucroy has not yet approved it (plus there are other trade formalities – review of medical records, for example). He’s got a limited no-trade clause, and the Indians are one of eight teams on his list. Then again, Lucroy has been open about wanting to be on a contender for a while now, and the Indians are up 4.5 games in the AL Central. Perhaps a financial arrangement can be worked out to entice Lucroy to give the thumb’s up (his contract comes with a team option for 2017, though it’s at a very modest $5.25 million).
It sounds like, if/when the deal goes through today, the Brewers will be getting four prospects, including studly young catching prospect Francisco Mejia (currently rocking a 42-game hitting streak in the low minors, and a top 50 to 100ish prospect in baseball), shortstop prospect Yu-Cheng Chang, outfield prospect Greg Allen, and one more yet unidentified player.
Depending on that fourth prospect, this is quite a haul for the Brewers. Heck, even before that fourth player is identified, that’s a haul.
When Lucroy is officially out of a Brewers uniform, the teams in the NL Central will get a modest bump in their chances of beating the Brewers in the disproportionate number of games they’ll play against an opponent within the division. For what it’s worth, the Cubs have 11 games remaining against the Brewers. The Pirates have 12. The Cardinals have just seven.
We’ll keep tabs on if and when this deal is finalized. They do fall apart at this stage, which we’ve seen in years past. But that’s rare.