CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians could be nearing a trade for Milwaukee All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
According to several reports late Saturday night, the teams have an agreement in place for a deal that would send Lucroy to the Indians in exchange for four minor league prospects. Lucroy must waive his no-trade clause for the deal to completed, FOX Sports reported .
Neither team commented on the proposed swap.
The Indians lead the AL Central by 4 1/2 games over Detroit. They have been in the market for a catcher since Yan Gomes separated his right shoulder earlier this month, and Cleveland has been actively looking to upgrade its offense for several weeks.
Lucroy was held out of Milwaukee’s lineup Saturday night, a signal the teams were closing in on a trade. He’s batting .300 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs.
Three of the players reportedly headed to the Brewers are catcher Francisco Mejia, shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang and outfielder Greg Allen — all three have been in Class A this season.
The Indians have been on top of their division for most of the season, and with one of baseball’s best starting rotations, they believe they can win the pennant and perhaps follow their next-door neighbors, the Cavaliers, and win another championship for Cleveland.
The Cavs ended the city’s 52-year title drought in June, coming back to beat Golden State in the NBA Finals.
Lucroy can certainly help.
The 30-year-old would give the Indians another right-handed bat to bolster a lineup that has struggled at times to keep pace with Cleveland’s solid pitching staff. Lucroy is making $4 million this season and the
Brewers own a $5.25 million option on him for 2017, a contract that fits within the Indians’ payroll and will be more than worth every penny if he can push them over the top.
It’s possible that Lucroy could be asking the Indians for an extension on his current deal or to increase the value of his option for next season.
The Indians have been searching for an infusion of offense all season.
Former All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley has appeared in only 11 games after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder in November. Brantley returned in late April, but still felt pain and has been sidelined since May 9. Brantley was making progress during a recent minor league rehab assignment but sustained a setback and has been shut down. He underwent another minor procedure on his shoulder but it’s uncertain if he’ll play again this season.
Cleveland’s catching situation has been a problem as well.
Gomes was batting just .165 in 71 games before he got hurt when he fell while running to first base on July 17. He’s expected to miss at least another month. With Gomes out, Chris Gimenez and Roberto Perez have been sharing catching duties but neither has been productive — Gimenez entered Saturday’s game batting .200 and Perez, who missed six weeks with a broken thumb, is in a 1-for-23 slump.
The Indians were in the mix to acquire Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, but felt the price was too high and the left-hander ended up with the Chicago Cubs. Cleveland has been reluctant to pull off a major deal at the risk of losing either Brad Zimmer or Clint Frazier, the top two minor leaguers in their system.
Cleveland has also been looking to add another reliever before Monday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline.
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