Seattle Mariners Trade a Day: Jonathan Lucroy
Seattle, the Mariners have a problem and it’s at catcher. Including the injured Mike Zunino, two of the three catchers on the active roster are hitting below the Mendoza line. The lone exception, Chris Herrmann, is batting .217 but that doesn’t meet MLB expectations either.
Out of the three current Mariners catchers, Zunino is clearly looked at as the primary fellow. He’s been with the club since 2013 and with the exception of the occasional home run, it’s been a lousy ride. Zunino has only hit over .220 once in any of his Major League seasons and does anyone else see him literally either striking out or hitting a home run?
There’s not much go-between and it’s concerning. Dipoto may need to, sooner rather than later, invest in a catcher who is not a dead bat. Let’s call in some reinforcements at catcher. Jonathan! Jonathan! Help us!
Teams like something about Jonathan Lucroy if he’s been a deadline deal twice the last couple seasons. The Rangers acquired him from the Brew Crew in 2016 to help pad their playoff run. The Rockies did the same thing in 2017 as they snatched him from the Rangers to help with their wild-card berth.
While Mike Zunino has only broken .250 once in his career, Lucroy has broken it every season to date. He has also hit .300 or higher twice in his career (not including .310 during his 46 games as just a Rockie last season). I’m not trying to roast our lovable Mike Zunino but look, guys, Lucroy can regularly hit a baseball!
Defensively, Lucroy and Zunino are just about even. Lucroy has four more passed balls than Zunino but that’s an unfair stat since Lucroy is three seasons more experienced. Zunino’s career caught-stealing percentage is only one point higher than Lucroy’s.
Mariners get: C Jonathan Lucroy
A’s get: C David Freitas & a PTBNL
The similarity in those two catching stats would make a huge difference if Zunino’s current injury sidelines him longer. Lucroy would provide that better-hitting catcher the M’s need. He also provides versatility in the field, having played 47 career games at first base.
Next: Mariners Trade a Day: Danny Duffy
Lucroy’s current A’s team is ranked dead-last in payroll at $82, 888, 290 per Spotrac. So unless the A’s keep hanging around the playoff race, expect this guy to be trade bait.