Al's Ramblings

Thursday, June 16, 2016

(6/16/2016 09:36:00 PM) - Al

Jonathan Lucroy is perhaps the most-cited trade candidate in baseball, GM David Stearns tells Heyman that an extension can’t be entirely ruled out. Heyman notes that if the Brewers are able to move Ryan Braun, they could look to reallocate some of those funds to locking up Lucroy, who is more open to an extension now that the Brewers are performing better than most pundits expected. There could, of course, be some level of gamesmanship there, as it would make sense for any team official to downplay a prime trade target’s availability.--MLBTR

As noted by many, Stearns is saying something that may be true or may be complete made up rubbish to attempt to ensure teams do not try to lowball them thinking Lucroy has be traded. The Crew would have no problem extending him for several seasons if he wanted to play for $8-10M per, but the market value for top five catchers is probably $15M per or thereabouts. Not only is more TV money expected, the truth of the matter is, he's worth whatever he can get, and it only takes one team to decide he's "the missing link" and overspend, both in years and in salary.

I've done some research on this subject, and I would have little interest in extending Lucroy anywhere near market value, as catchers often fall apart in their early 30's. A 4 year extension would lock him up through 2021 (any contract would likely require MIL guaranteeing his option for '17, or tearing it up and giving him more for next season), which would be Jon's age 35 season (his age on 7/1/21).

Johnny Bench fell off a mythical production cliff at age 34, Yadier Molina has went to excellent to average, and his falloff began at 31, even Thurman Munson dropped way off in his age 31 campaign before his untimely death.

Some have defeated Dad Time, like Carlton Fisk (solid until 42), but for every one that has, there are a dozen who have predictably worn down. 

Given their place in the success cycle, I feel far safer with 2-3 prospects in their early 20's than a veteran C in his early 30's...even moreso when you consider Lucroy has caught 698 big league games already. He was not a late bloomer who got a chance when he was 27, he's been catching 5-6 days a week in MIL since he was 24.

6/16/2016 09:36:00 PM

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