The Los Angeles Angels continue to make changes to their 2019 roster. This time they signed veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
The Los Angeles Angels have been busy signing former teammates from their AL West rivals, the Oakland Athletics.
Just a few days ago, the Angels signed Trevor Cahill who pitched for the A’s in 2018. Lucroy will certainly be familiar with Cahill’s pitching repertoire.
The Jonathan Lucroy signing was announced by several sources, including Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and the Los Angeles Angels are in agreement on a one-year, $3.35 million deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Lucroy took his physical today and deal should be official soon. He can make more than $4 million total with performance bonuses.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 29, 2018
Lucroy joins Jose Briceno and Kevan Smith in the depth chart. Briceno was a rookie in 2018 and hit .239/.299/.385 with five home runs in 46 games. Smith spent the past three years in the White Sox organization moving back and forth from Triple-A and the MLB squad. In 2018, he hit .292/.348/.380 with three home runs in 52 games.
It is safe to say that Lucroy will be the number one catcher, but who will be the number two catcher. Since all three catchers bat right, there won’t be much need for a platoon situation.
Lucroy hits left-handed and right-handed batters about the same, but Briceno has significantly more success against left-handed pitchers (.200 against RHP vs. .288 against LHP). Smith has even more pronounced success against left-handed pitchers.
Lucroy hit .241/.291/.325 in 2018, which is a far cry from his days with the Milwaukee Brewers. When he was with the Brewers, he hit .284/.342/.436 in his seven years. He was traded to the Rangers in August 2016 and he hasn’t ever quite been the same at the plate or behind the dish.
Hopefully, Lucroy can regain his former prowess with the Angels. The Angels new manager, Brad Ausmus, was an outstanding catcher himself. Maybe he’s got the stuff that will get Lucroy back to the way he was when he went to the All-Star Games in 2014 and 2016 with the Brewers.
Lucroy will bring his post-season success to the Angels. He went to Wild Card games in 2017 with the Rangers and in 2018 with the A’s. He also went to the ALDS with the Rangers in 2016. With the Brewers, he went to the NLDS and NLCS in 2011.
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Hopefully, he will be the key to the off-season that the Angels have been looking for after losing Martin Maldonado to free agency in October.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News