It’s no secret that the Brewers want to shop away Jonathan Lucroy, and there have even been reports of the Rangers, Nationals, and Athletics all showing interest in Lucroy. However, according to a recent report, all of those teams have back away due to the Brewer’s asking “too much in return” for Lucroy.
It’s also no secret that the Brewers highly value Lucroy, despite a down season in 2015 Lucroy has a solid track record and his contract is currently cheap at only $4 million owed next season. The Rangers back away when the Brewers opened with Joey Gallo, and the Athletics backed away when the Brewers asked for Franklin Barreto or Sean Manaea. Both teams determined that Lucroy wasn’t worth a top prospect (or two), so the question remains just what is Jonathan Lucroy worth?
Well to start he’s worth more now than during the season, as teams right now want him for two full seasons and for cheap than a season and a half. Teams won’t be willing to give away as much for Lucroy midway through the season as they are now. The Brewers undoubtedly can get prospects for Lucroy and maybe even some cash, the question is what kind of prospects can they get?
First, let’s look at Lucroy’s numbers, since 2012, 2014 was by far Lucroy’s best year posting a .301/.373/.465 with 13 HR and 69 RBI along with a 6.1 WAR. In 2012 he had a line .320/.368/.513 with 12 HR and 58 RBI and a WAR of 3.5. Followed by a line of .280/.340./.455 and a WAR of 3.4 in 2013. Lucroy was plagued by injuries and a concussion in 2015 resulting in a down year, so the Brewers are in a tight spot with only a one year left on his contract (there is a club option for 2017 which is a no brainer if Lucroy has a good year in 2016) as he has yet to repeat the success of 2014. Without that repeat the Brewers are going to find it hard to maximize his value (not to say they won’t get something good, they just can’t get the best possible value at this point).
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Now, clubs are looking to get Lucroy on the cheap, and both Oakland and Texas balked at the idea of giving away their top prospects for Lucroy. Joey Gallo, was Texas’s top prospect according to John Sickels, as well Barreto and Manaea were 1 and 2 for the A’s. At this point it seems like asking for top prospects isn’t going to happen for the Brewers. However, Lucroy is worth at least several Tier two prospects with cash considerations.
Ultimately, the Brewers are going to want to get rid of Lucroy sooner rather than later, especially if the season comes around and Lucroy isn’t performing as expected or better than expected.