The Milwaukee Brewers and Jonathan Lucroy have agreed on a contract extension for five years that will pay the catcher more than $11 million. The deal replaces the contract that Lucroy signed prior to camp and also covers his final renewal year and all three arbitration years. However, if Lucroy qualifies as a Super Two player – yes, it still exists – the five year deal will cover this season as well as all four of his arbitration eligible years with the total payout being adjusted.
As Ben Nicholson-Smith notes for MLB Trade Rumors:
Recent extensions have generally placed the value of a starting catcher’s first three arbitration years in the $7-10MM range.
Given his adequate offensive contributions (for his defensive position), a typical deal is hardly surprising. Where the Brewers do find value is in Lucroy’s defense. No, the catcher doesn’t throw out runners at an alarming rate or have a special ability to block pitches in the dirt. Lucroy is very good at framing pitches.
So much so, that Mike Fast, in his original piece on catcher framing, used Lucroy as an example of perfect technique, especially against right handed batters. Notice how minimal his movements are outside of his subtle glove adjustment.
Fast, who has since been hired to work in the Houston Astros front office, suggested at the time that Lucroy saved 38 runs with his technique and the resulting strike calls he earned from the 14,205 called pitches that he received during his first two years in the league. Here is the graph that Fast put together to show Lucroy’s skill:
After understanding this contribution, something that the Brewers front office is clearly anticipating will continue, it’s funny to read comments from Lucroy’s manager Ron Roenicke, who might not be so aware of these metrics.
Defensively, once the confidence gets there, he’s going to be good.
And The Rest
Our overreaction to the Toronto Blue Jays’ curious, to say the least, contract extension for the injury riddled Dustin McGowan wasn’t limited to writing. The DJF Podcast made its rushed debut. [DJF]
20 questions for 2012 that no one but Bradley Ankrom would have thought of asking. And I mean that in a good way. [Baseball Prospectus]
A week after announcing his plans to retire at the conclusion of the season, Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones had arthroscopic knee surgery. It’s the sixth time in his career that he’s gone under the knife to right a knee ailment. Jones should be out for at least three weeks. [USA Today]
Get to know the Texas Rangers . . . from the perspective of a Seattle Mariners fan. [Lookout Landing]
Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is a forgotten man, or maybe just a player in decline. [Over The Monster]
Hiroki Kuroda has quietly gone about his business for the New York Yankees this Spring Training, quite unlike certain other pitchers who haven’t reached their expected velocity quite yet. [It's About The Money Stupid]
Roberto Hernandez, the Cleveland Indians pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona, has reworked his deal with the Cleveland Indians despite not knowing whether or not he’ll pitch for the team this summer. [ESPN]
Who had the better slider: Steve Carlton or Dave Stieb? Answer: Madison Bumgarner. [Mop Up Duty]
I love the beginning of this collection of St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training stories: “Once you swear off small sample-sizes for good—or at least declare your intent to do it—you’re at a severe spring training rooting disadvantage.” Truth. [Viva El Birdos]
Vladimir Guerrero worked out for scouts of the Cleveland Indians while in the Dominican Republic. [ESPN Deportes]
Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro would never even dream of deceiving fans for the betterment of his team. He’s either lying or not a very good GM. [FOX Philadelphia]
Whether he ends up being moved or not, Philadelphia Phillies starter Joe Blanton has had a very good Spring Training. [Crashburn Alley]
New York Mets third baseman David Wright played his first game of Spring Training baseball yesterday and made a nice diving grab at the hot corner. [ESPN New York]
A graphic look at the contract statuses for the Milwaukee Brewers roster. [Beyond The Box Score]
A quote from the text that accompanies the following photo on its website of origin: “White stool was the first indication of larger problems for Carlos Gomez.” [NotGraphs]