By: Bill Tewes
The trade deadline is fast approaching and there is no doubt that Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns is going to be a busy man. Coming off a rough series against the rival St. Louis Cardinals, the Brewers are going to be heavily focused on players they can unload at the deadline and hope to get a haul of prospects in return.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports wrote an article today suggesting that there may be renewed trade talks between the Texas Rangers and the Milwaukee Brewers regarding Jonathan Lucroy. Rosenthal quoted a scout that was on hand at a Class A Rookie League game and noted that the Brewers had “multiple scouts” in attendance.
The Brewers and Rangers are no strangers to trade discussion regarding Jonathan Lucroy as these teams discussed a potential trade in the offseason. Rosenthal quoted a scout as suggesting: “He surmised that the home team, the Rangers, was involved in multiple trade discussions. And he noted that the Brewers had multiple scouts watching the Texas youngsters — an indication, perhaps, that the Rangers are plotting to acquire Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy.”
While Rosenthal notes nothing is concrete, it is peculiar that the Brewers once again are heavily invested in scouting Texas Ranger players. Jonathan Lucroy is also fresh off his second All-Star nomination and that will definitely add value to any trade that the Milwaukee Brewers may entertain as Lucroy struggled last year which definitely hurt his trade value. We have recently touched on what the Brewers may do at the deadline and it is certainly not surprising that the Brewers are beefing up their scouting efforts with less than a month to deadline day.
If the Brewers do end up trading Lucroy, they could easily pair him with numerous other players on the roster. They could end up pairing Junior Guerra, the 31-year-old pitcher who the Brewers called up in May. Guerra has had somewhat of a sensational season since being called up in May and the Brewers could use him to make a similar trade to last years’ deadline deal; which sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to Houston for a haul of prospects. There are also rumors that scouts are heavily interested in relief pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith. The Brewers would be wise to trade both of these players as they are not of any value to a team in the middle of a complete rebuild.
Rosenthal notes that the Brewers might demand a top prospect such as Joey Gallo or Jurickson Profar. But I highly doubt the Rangers are interested in shipping out players that can make an impact in the near future and would instead trade younger prospects who are not nearly as established. Adam J. Morrison of Lone Star Ball suggests that the Rangers would be unlikely to “pay a premium” in trading for a 30-year-old catcher. But Lucroy is not just any 30-year-old player, he is a significant upgrade over any catcher on the Rangers’ roster right now and is signed through next year. According to spotrac.com, Lucroy’s contract ranks 54th overall as far as value is concerned, which is tops for a catcher.
The Brewers have the luxury of waiting on a trade for Lucroy and getting the best possible value. I definitely trust in Stearns to get maximum value for Lucroy and it would be excellent to get him to a contender or a team that can utilize his services for a playoff push. There are multiple teams in desperate need of a catcher and I fully expect Lucroy to be moved by the deadline.