After months of a quiet offseason, the past few days have brought a flurry of baseball news. Now we have more as MLB.com's Jane Lee reports the Oakland Athletics and free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy have agreed to a one-year contract.
Lucroy found himself in a market that couldn't have been much worse for free agents. While the financials terms of the contract aren't yet known, the landing spot isn't one Lucroy probably imagined when he thought about free agency a year ago and not even what he expected to happen when he became a free agent after a disastrous 2017 season.
Once one of the game's best catchers both at the plate and behind it, Lucroy's nightmare season happened at the worst possible time. Between time spent with the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies last season, Lucroy posted a .265/.345/.371 slash line, .311 wOBA and 82 wRC+ in 123 games. His woes offensively were a serious concern and a sign of aging, but of even greater concern was Lucroy's sudden decline in his defensive capabilities.
From a hitting perspective, we saw significant drops across the board in the type of contact the veteran catcher made. Lucroy's 13 percent drop in hard-contact rate and 10 percent drop in fly ball percentage present significant concerns.
For fantasy owners, this is not the landing spot anyone really wanted. While Oakland's lineup boasts some offensive talent, the park is not a hitter-friendly environment and Lucroy's power already seemed to be in apparent decline. Once an elite fantasy catcher, fantasy owners may now be looking at Lucroy as a top-14 fantasy catcher.