UPDATE: It’s being reported from multiple outlets that the Indians’ current search is mainly for bullpen help—though the door remains open for something to materialize regarding either Lucroy and/or the Indians’ plan at catcher.
Hearing Indians' main area of focus right now remains the bullpen. Team is being open-minded about other avenues for improvement, though.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 20, 2016
The good news is, Yan Gomes probably isn’t going to need surgery.
The bad news is that the Indians catcher, who suffered a joint separation in his right shoulder on Sunday after a misstep onto the first base bag, will miss 6-8 weeks, leaving the Indians with no backstop during a division race. They entered the reliably thin catching market and have, according to Buster Olney, targeted the best candidate.
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
This is despite the president of Cleveland baseball operations, Chris Antonetti, not appearing to be too worried about the situation at catcher.
As for catching, [Antonetti] feels confident that Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez can do the job despite losing starter Yan Gomes on Sunday to a separated right shoulder.
Lucroy is one of the longstanding 2016 trade deadline rumors at this point, with the Brewers out of it, and the 30-year-old being an All-Star catcher slashing .305/.362/.494 in the last year of a five-year, $11 million contract. Milwaukee will likely have someone pay dearly for his services, and Cleveland is into it (for now). The Indians have a farm system that is on the way up, featuring more bats than arms—more options from which to pluck when attempting to land this deal.
Indians outfielder Michael Brantley’s return from the DL being delayed due to soreness in the shoulder on which he just had surgery does keep a hole in the Indians’ lineup. Lucroy can obviously help there as one of the Brewers’ offensive leaders, and has already said that he would love to play for a contender.