The Red Sox are not done adding players, and according to a report they are adding another catcher to their roster. Chris Cotillo of Masslive is reporting that the team is close to signing catcher Jonathan Lucroy to a contract.
Sources: Red Sox close to deal with catcher Jonathan Lucroy.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 18, 2020
Depth option behind Vazquez, Plawecki. Likely a minor league deal.
The terms are not yet know, though as Cotillo points out one would assume it is a minor-league deal. Boston already has Christian Vázquez and Kevin Plawecki signed to major-league deals and it would be tough to see them using a third contract for someone like Lucroy, even with the added roster spot this season.
Lucroy was one of the best catchers in baseball in the early-to-middle part of last decade, most of which he spent in Milwaukee under current Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. In his time with the Brewers, the catcher hit .284/.342/.436 for a 110 OPS+ while also becoming perhaps the first framing darling in baseball.
Things have fallen off in a big way over the last five years or so, though. He’s bounced all around the league since leaving Milwaukee, and last season split the year between the Angels and Cubs organizations. He played in 101 games between the two teams, hitting .232/.305/.355 for a 75 OPS+. He’s also watched his framing numbers drop, as he’s been worth negative value in this area over each of the last three years, according to Baseball Prospectus’ metrics.
Presumably, Lucroy will be battling for the third catcher job with Juan Centeno and will have the leg up. If either Vázquez or Plawecki get hurt in camp, Lucroy would likely make the major-league roster. If not, his fate would depend on whether or not he has opt-outs in his contract and when they would be. If he stays with the organization, he and Centeno would presumably get the catching time in Pawtucket.
It is indeed a minor-league deal.
Lucroy has agreement with Red Sox. Minors deal but needed there.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 18, 2020