MARYVALE, Arizona — The A’s dipped into free agency to grab All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who reportedly will sign a one-year deal with Oakland.
MLB.com’s Jane Lee reported the A’s are bringing in the 31-year-old to help solve some of the team’s catching issues the past couple of years.
Lucroy struggled with the Texas Rangers last season before getting dealt to the Colorado Rockies in July, where he hit .310 in 46 games. Normally one of the game’s top offensive catchers, Lucroy combined to hit just .265/.345/.371 with six home runs and 40 RBIs in 423 at-bats.
No terms of the deal were immediately announced. A’s general manager David Forst walked by a group of reporters during Friday’s game as he was leaving for a flight back to Oakland, but chose not to give comment when asked about the deal.
The A’s seemed ready to go with Bruce Maxwell as their starting catcher this season, with Josh Phegley serving in a semi-platoon role. Maxwell is batting .231 in six games this spring, while Phegley is at .333 through six.
Manager Bob Melvin chose not to comment specifically on the Lucroy deal after Friday’s 2-0 win over the Brewers. But after referring to Maxwell and Phegley as a “good tandem,” he did seem to intimate that the A’s young starters could benefit from a veteran catcher. Lucroy certainly fits that bill.
“You’re always looking to upgrade at any position,” Melvin said. “We do have a young staff, especially the starting staff. I’m a veteran catcher as well, and we’re not signing me to catch.”
Maxwell also still has legal issues to deal with, stemming from an incident last October in which he allegedly pulled out a gun on a food delivery driver at the front door of his home in Arizona. A trial date is set for Aug. 9.