With an injury to catcher Yan Gomes, the Cleveland Indians are potentially in the market for a catcher. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Cleveland has its sights set on the best backstop available, Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Sources: CLE in talks for MIL's Jonathan Lucroy. Perhaps Brantley's situation has pushed them to add a hitter & consider upgrade at catcher.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 20, 2016
The previous report had indicated that Lucroy was not in Cleveland’s plans. With that in mind, Michael Brantley’s setback certainly seems like a likely cause. The platoon of Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez is fine behind the plate, but this is a team in need of an offensive upgrade. Lucroy would supply that.
In 86 games with Milwaukee, Lucroy is slashing at .305/.362/.494 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI. He’s also a strong defensive catcher, which would come in handy when catching one of baseball’s best pitching staffs. On days when Lucroy isn’t called on to catch, he could play at first base or designated hitter as well.
Additionally, adding Lucroy would obviously keep any potential rival team from acquiring the All-Star.
Until we get a sense of what Milwaukee would want in return, we can’t really speculate on how good this deal would be for Cleveland. Still, Lucroy is one of the best catchers in baseball and one of the top players on the trade market. Despite the occasional offensive struggles, the Indians are already one of baseball’s best teams.
Landing an All-Star would only make them more formidable.