Lucroy Trade News
Not much has changed in the 8 hours or so since the news dropped, so now would be a good time to recap for everyone who went to sleep early last night.
1. The trade itself.
Two things that seem to be set in stone is that Francisco Mejia is included in the deal, and that Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer aren't. I could certainly live with that, even knowing that Mejia's ceiling is very high; catchers who can also hit are one of the most valuable commodities in the game (as we've seen with Lucroy). But Mejia is probably at least two years away, and even if Lucroy is only with the Indians one year and two months, the Indians also have Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez under control for quite a while (Gomes through at least 2019, Perez through at least 2020.
2. The Indians are one of the teams on Lucroy's no-trade list
As part of his contract with the Brewers, Lucroy can select eight teams he can't be dealt to without his permission. And before this season Lucroy selected the Indians as one of those eight team. Now I don't look at this as an Ichiro-like knock on Cleveland, but a forecast of teams that would be likely to trade for him. In this respect, he and his agent hit a home run, especially given that before the season the Indians seemed set at the catcher position. The no-trade clause in this is being exercised as a way for the player to have some control over the rest of his current contract (more on that below).
3. The negotiations aren't over, it's just that they'll be between Lucroy and the Indians
One issue I'm hearing is that Lucroy is asking & wants a long-term extension from #Indians & then he will agree to deal if parameters fit.— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) July 31, 2016
As things stand now, Lucroy is under contract through this year, with a team option of $5M for 2017. That's an insanely good value for the Indians, and one of the main reasons why the team was willing to give up four prospects in the deal. But because Lucroy has some leverage here, I don't think it's likely that the contract will remain as is. If the above is true, then the Indians have some work to do over the next day or so. It would be one thing to agree on a increase on the 2017 option, quite another to agree to a long-term deal in place of the current contract. My default thought would be that Lucroy would want to become a free agent sooner, but perhaps he doesn't want to wait even two (hopefully three) months, electing to get his deal done now. He'd very likely get more money should he play out his deal and enter free agency after the 2017 season, but that does come with some risks.
The (non-waiver) trade deadline is Monday at 4 PM Eastern, so the Indians and Lucroy have until then to hammer out a deal.
Last Night's Game: Indians 6, Athletics 3
The A's had to place Rich Hill on the DL with a blister, and the Indians took full advantage of his replacement. If anything they could have made the final score even more lopsided.
The turning point of the game came after Billy Butler took Josh Tomlin deep in the fourth inning. Prior to hitting the home run Butler and Chris Gimenez were jawing at each other, and the home umpire had to get involved. The Indians would erupt for four runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game away.
Other Tribe News
The big disappointment of the evening was that Albert Belle wasn't there to accept the honor. But even so, it was a great atmosphere for the ceremony. Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Andre Thornton, Mike Hargrove, and Sam McDowell were also there to help welcome the newest inductees.
Even if the Indians get a deal done with Lucroy, they still have more work to do before Monday's deadline. Pluto also mentions the need to reduce Uribe's playing time; I think if they don't make a trade for an outfielder, they'll either "Giambi" Uribe (consigning him occasional pinch-hitting duties) or call up Yandy Diaz from AAA.
Other MLB News
Washington now has a new closer in Mark Melancon, which makes sense given how Jonathan Papelbon looked this week. Melancon was a possibility for the Indians, but the Nationals gave up Felipe Rivero, a promising left-handed reliever who has already had success at the major-league level.
This was a swap of bad contracts. To show how they felt about the deal, the Padres immediately designated Hector Olivera for assignment. The Braves are getting at least $10.5M from the Padres as part of the deal; Kemp is signed through 2019, and will be getting paid by possibly three teams (Dodgers, Padres, Braves).