2. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
Already arguably the weakest position on the Indians’ depth chart, the catcher spot on the diamond took a major hit July 17, when starter Yan Gomes suffered a separated AC joint in his right shoulder and will miss 6-8 weeks. Though Gomes was only slashing .165/.198/.313, he has been great defensively as usual and has also emerged as a leader and one of the most-liked players on the team.
For now, the Tribe will turn to Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez in a platoon role behind the dish, but how long can this last for a team gunning for an American League pennant? Perez is just a career .233 hitter, while Gimenez is even worse, coming in hitting at a career .214 clip.
A great option for the Indians to fill the void of Gomes would be to attempt to acquire All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers. The Milwaukee backstop is easily having the best year of his career, hitting .303 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI’s. Also, his 39% caught-stealing percentage ranks fifth in the MLB this season. Playing for a Brewers team that is going nowhere – they currently sit at 39-51 – Lucroy is likely to be deltas the deadline approaches.
Lucroy is under contract next season in the form of a club option worth $5.25 million. For a player of his caliber, that is a bargain should his play stay consistent with the level he is playing at currently.
However, even with Gomes’ injury, it has been reported that the Indians plan to stand pat with their options at the catcher position, according to Paul Hoynes. That has not stopped some from speculating, though.
Dan O’Dowd of MLB Network proposed the idea of this trade, where the Indians give up one of two of their top pitching prospects in Clevinger and Juan Hillman while acquiring Lucroy and left-handed reliever Will Smith. While this looks like a great deal on paper, a player of Lucroy’s caliber would likely require either Frazier or Zimmer be sent back to Milwaukee in return.
Still, with the log-jam that could be present in the outfield within the next few years, the chance to acquire and All-Star catcher should not be passed up.
Next: Carlos Gonzalez