Brewers: Jonathan Lucroy says team wasn’t interested in extension talk


While his name swirls in trade rumors, Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy told a Milwaukee radio station that the club didn’t show a lot of interest in discussing a potential extension of his deal before spring training.

Per, Lucroy told 105.7 FM The Fan Tuesday that his representatives gave the Brewers a proposed extension that would have kept the former All-Star catcher in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future.

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“It was a proposal that would have kept me here for the rest of my career, most likely,” Lucroy said. “We gave it to them in January and when we got to spring training, they informed us they weren’t interested in doing anything at this point in time.”

Lucroy signed a five-year extension in 2012. He is due $3 million this year, will be paid $4 million next season and the team holds a $5.25 million option for 2017.

Five years seems to be the magic number for star-caliber receivers in baseball—Russell Martin, Yadier Molina and Brian McCann have all recently received five-year deals.

“I guess I was 50/50 on whether or not they were going to try to work with us on it,” Lucroy said. “Without getting into the specific numbers and length, I don’t think they were very comfortable with those parts of it.”

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Lucroy is under club control on a team-friendly deal for the next two-plus seasons, making it unlikely the team will deal him before the non-waiver trade deadline next week unless they are blown away by an offer.

It’s been a tough year for Lucroy, who missed six weeks with a broken toe and is hitting .237/.301/.329 in 53 games this season, with 24 runs, eight doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI.

That is a far cry from his .301/.373/.465 showing in 2014, when he set a major-league record for doubles by a catcher with 53 and had 13 homers and 69 RBI in 153 games.

But he’s showing signs of life. Lucroy has hit .286/.375/.429 in his last 16 games, with two homers and eight RBI and the Brewers have gone 12-4 in those contests.

One thing Lucroy stressed was that he has no complaints about his situation in Milwaukee.

“I want to tell the truth,” he said. “I believe the truth is always the best option when it comes to stuff like this. I just don’t want it to seem like I’m complaining about anything. I am thankful for everything the Brewers [have done].”

The organization isn’t exactly brimming with catching talent. Clint Coulter, the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2014, has been moved to the outfield and the Brewers don’t have a catcher among their top 30 prospects as ranked by

Nevin Ashley, a 30-year-old career minor-leaguer; Juan Centano, a 25-year-old claimed off waivers from the New York Mets last October; and 31-year-old journeyman Robinzon Diaz are handling the catching at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Centano was 1-for-21 in 10 games while backing up Martin Maldonado during Lucroy’s DL stint earlier this season. Diaz hasn’t played in the bigs since 2009.

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  • At Double-A Biloxi, Adam Weisenberger, a 26-year-old who was a 34th-round pick in 2011, is doing the bulk of the catching and is hitting .233/.361/.326 in 63 games. His backup is Parker Berberet, another 2011 draftee who has played in 33 games this season and is hitting .230/.300/.280.

    Cameron Garfield played 45 games at Advanced-A Brevard County this season, but was recently released. The other catchers for the Manatees are Rafael Nada, already 26 years old, and Paul Eshleman, who is hitting .221/.264/.327 and turns 25 in September.

    At Class-A Wisconsin, 2014 draftee Greg McCall has played 52 games and is hitting .237/.294/.285. Carlos Leal, also drafted last year, is a converted pitcher who is hitting .314/.376/.423 but is still learning the position.

    So locking up Lucroy for the longer haul might not be the worst idea, unless they are able to swing a deal for a young, big-league-ready backstop.

    Because as it is, Lucroy is all the Brewers have.

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