Veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who was dealt to the Rockies as a rental at the trade deadline, has interest in remaining in Colorado beyond this season, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reported Tuesday.
Lucroy, 31, is a .280/.340/.432 career hitter and had long been regarded as one of the league’s top pitch framers coming into this season. He endured a rather significant slump with the Rangers prior to being traded, as he posted a disappointing .635 OPS while also seeing his framing numbers drop off significantly. He’s been slightly better in Colorado but still hasn’t really been a game-changing force, hitting .276/.392/.398 (good for a subpar 96 OPS+) with one homer in 120 plate appearances since joining the Rockies.
From an offensive standpoint, Lucroy has been an upgrade over the trio of catchers—Tony Wolters, Tom Murphy, and Ryan Hanigan—that Colorado used before acquiring him, and he’s also bounced back defensively since the trade.
With that said, it should be interesting to see how much Colorado is willing to pay Lucroy when they’ve already got two younger, cheaper potential starters in Wolters and Murphy. While manager Bud Black and GM Jeff Bridich both praised Lucroy’s performance with the Rockies, Bridich didn’t exactly express a sense of urgency in regards to re-signing Lucroy, telling Saunders that the Rockies “aren’t focused on that right now.”
Despite his down year, Lucroy’s previous performance could still make him the most intriguing free-agent catcher on a market that is certain to include Alex Avila, Chris Iannetta, and Kurt Suzuki and could also include Welington Castillo, Tyler Flowers, and Matt Wieters depending on how option decisions play out.