The A's announced a one-year deal with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy on Monday.Arguably this winter's top free-agent catcher, Lucroy is a logical addition for a club seeking more consistency at the position. Oakland will not have to give up any talent via a trade or Draft pick compensation since Lucroy
The A's announced a one-year deal with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy on Monday.
Arguably this winter's top free-agent catcher, Lucroy is a logical addition for a club seeking more consistency at the position. Oakland will not have to give up any talent via a trade or Draft pick compensation since Lucroy was ineligible for a qualifying offer.
Lucroy provides an upgrade at a position arguably in need of one. Though he had a down year offensively in 2017, Lucroy's veteran presence behind the plate could provide guidance for a young A's pitching staff that could benefit from an experienced receiver.
Oakland's catching setup had Bruce Maxwell starting, with Josh Phegley and Dustin Garneau currently competing for the backup role.
Lucroy, 31, is coming off a season in which he slashed .265/.345/.371 between stints with the Rangers and Rockies, though he capped the year in Colorado hitting .310 over 46 games and proved to be a valuable addition for the club's young rotation as it reached the postseason. Though his power numbers dwindled from years past -- he hit six homers last year, compared to 24 in 2016 -- Lucroy is widely considered one of the game's better offensive catchers. He is a two-time All-Star and finished fourth in the National League MVP Award voting in 2014.
Lucroy likely pushes Maxwell to a backup role. Maxwell slashed .237/.329/.333 over 76 games in '17. He logged three homers and drove in 22 runs.
To make room for Lucroy on the 40-man roster, Oakland designated left-hander Jairo Labourt for assignment .
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
After ranking among the biggest fantasy disappointments last year (six homers, 40 RBIs, .265 average), Lucroy has a chance to be one of this season's bounceback fantasy studs. The career .281 hitter is just two years removed from producing 24 homers and 81 RBIs and was the No. 3 catcher to come off the board in most 2017 drafts. With a current ADP of 225 in Yahoo leagues, the 31-year-old is an excellent boom-or-bust pick in the late rounds. He is especially appealing in one-catcher formats, where replacement options should be plentiful in the event Lucroy does not pan out.
Daniel Kramer is a contributor to MLB.com.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.