Here’s a chin-scratcher for you:
cubs were one "mystery team" in on lucroy. talk never went far because cubs saw an "in division tax" in asking price.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2016
That’s a trade, by the way – the one with the Indians picking up Jonathan Lucroy – that has not yet been officially completed:
Lucroy had #Indians on his limited no-trade list. That is why he still must approve. Difficult to imagine him saying no, but not yet done.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2016
Let’s be clear up front: no, I’m not implying that deal is going to fall through and the Cubs will suddenly swoop in and land Lucroy. [UPDATE: Well, the “fell through” part just happened.]
As I wrote last night, I don’t see the Cubs as the best fit for Lucroy, given his extra year of cheap control (something that the Cubs could use less than other teams out there, given Willson Contreras’s emergence, Miguel Montero’s $14 million contract for next season, and Kyle Schwarber’s rehab). Other teams, my brain screams, should and would be willing to pay more for Lucroy. And, indeed, assuming the deal goes down with the Indians, they were willing to pay more. Hence Heyman’s tweet.
Still, him regarding the Cubs as being sufficiently “in” on Lucroy to call them one of the ever-famous “mystery teams” is certainly interesting. It’s no secret that Montero has had some struggles this year, both offensively and defensively, and perhaps the front office feels like it’s not quite yet time to hand over the keys more fully to Contreras. Leaning on 39-year-old David Ross too heavily down the stretch could be dangerous, too.
It’s interesting, but, in the end, my sense is that the Cubs were probably exploring any and all available upgrades out there to see if there was a perfect scenario. In Lucroy, it was highly unlikely there would ever be a perfect trade scenario, but why not ask around?
Also, I’m typing this from the Lakefront Trail as joggers and bikers breeze by me. Here’s the latest Blogathon Check-In, which you may have missed, since this post went right up after it.