The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a one-year, $3.35 million deal with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy, per Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. Incentives could push the final value of the deal beyond $4 million. Lucroy passed his physical today, meaning the signing should be official soon.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and the Los Angeles Angels are in agreement on a one-year, $3.35 million deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Lucroy took his physical today and deal should be official soon. He can make more than $4 million total with performance bonuses.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 29, 2018
Lucroy, 32, spent his first six-and-a-half major-league seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before spending time with the Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, and Oakland Athletics. He finished fourth place in MVP voting in 2014, the same season he was an All-Star. He was also selected to the All-Star Game in 2016 as he neared the end of his long stint with the Brewers.
Lucroy was a third-round draft selection of the Brewers in 2007, and made his MLB debut in 2010. On the 2016 trade deadline, he was sent to the Rangers along with Jeremy Jeffress in a deal that brought Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Cordell back to Milwaukee. He was traded a year later, in 2017, to the Rockies in exchange for minor-leaguer Pedro Gonzalez. He hit free agency a few months later and inked a deal with Oakland back in March.
In 2018 with the A’s, Lucroy slashed just .241/.291/.325, a career-low for him all three of those categories. Through 126 games, he picked up 100 hits while knocking in 51 runs. He stroked 21 doubles, one triple, and just four homers while drawing 29 walks and striking out 65 times. After playing with the Rangers in 2017 and Athletics in 2018, his job with the Angels will be his third job in the American League West in the past three seasons.
This will be the runner-up for Lucroy’s highest contract, second to only his 2018 deal with the Athletics worth more than $6 million.
Lucroy will likely have the official role of backup catcher, but could even split time with starter Kevan Smith, who Los Angeles claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox in October. Smith posted better 2018 stats than Lucroy, slashing .292/.348/.380 with 21 runs knocked in on 50 hits over 171 at-bats in 52 games.
Lucroy is a proven veteran who is a solid option behind the dish during games. This signing comes with little to no risk, and will prove to be a great move if Lucroy can post stats similar to the ones he earned from 2012 to 2016.