Out of all of the nine positions on the diamond, catcher is one of the most clear-cut candidate that stands out from the rest. Of course I am talking about Jonathan Lucroy, who has fulfilled the duty of catcher for the Brewers since 2010. However, it seems as if his days as a Milwaukee Brewer are dwindling down.
Look, it is understandable if somebody does not want to trade Lucroy. It is understandable if he is somebody’s favorite player. But for somebody to consider themselves a fan of a team, they have to put those individual player preferences below the greater good of the team. That is the exact case we have with Lucroy.
Like Carlos Gomez was, Lucroy represents the face of Milwaukee Brewers baseball. His face graces the game day programs passed throughout Miller Park. His jersey is worn all across the state of Wisconsin. His beard makes appearances on television sets as a sponsor of Kwik Trip. But when it comes down to making decisions that separate the winning baseball teams from the losing baseball teams, tough decisions have to be made and this is one of those occurrences.
So, what will the Brewers look for in a trade that involves Jonathan Lucroy? With the recent Khris Davis to Oakland trade, the Brewers eliminated (or so we hope) the need of retaining a catcher in return for Lucroy by receiving Jacob Nottingham from the Athletics.
With that being said, the two biggest holes in the Brewers farm system remains the two corner infield positions of third base and first base. In today’s day and age of the game of baseball, players who swing a hefty bat and can be a large influence in the batting order typically grace those positions. However, as one can imagine, it always seems to be a diamond in the rough whenever they are discovered.
The Brewers have the no. five pick in the upcoming June MLB Draft. Unfortunately for them, it is a year that lacks the heavy hitters, which have been represented well in year’s past. Jason Groome, A.J. Puk, Alec Hansen and Riley Pint have been pinned as the fab four, all top notch pitching prospects. Bobby Dalbec is a third baseman Milwaukee could look into as a possible sleeper. The junior from Arizona led the Cape Cod League in home runs this past summer and when he makes contact on the sweet spot, the ball has a tendency to travel far.
However, selecting a positional player in the draft may perhaps occur if Stearns does not feel as if things are moving along in Lucroy talks with teams that are interested. The best hope for getting a corner infield prospect is through a trade that involves Lucroy. Ideally, Milwaukee would receive a player who has made it through the most of his development, but has a little ways to go but would be able to contribute at the Major League level come next season or possibly the next.
As for when that trade will transpire remains unknown. It seems as if David Stearns can strike a deal at anytime of the day. Some of his deals, most recently the Khris Davis exchange, seemed to have came out of thin air. But that being said, expect Lucroy to be dealt during the season or at the trade deadline. Sometimes taking risks pays off, and if Milwaukee waits to deal him and Lucroy has a strong first half to the campaign, the bigger the haul will be for him come the time he is dealt.
If you are both a Brewers fan and Lucroy fan, that is spectacular. You should cheer all you want for him, because the better he does this upcoming year, the better the Brewers will be through the result of prospects they receive. It may be frustrating to see him go, but it is time to face the reality that baseball is a business. The Brewers are simply following the trail laid before them by other teams that have gone through the rebuilding process and if that is any indication, the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed bright.