Houston Astros: Lucroy would provide team with even more depth

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 09: Jonathan Lucroy
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 09: Jonathan Lucroy /

Compared to most of the other teams in the league, the Houston Astros don’t need an immediate upgrade behind the plate. But the front office is still interested in the former All-Star backstop.

The Houston Astros already have two veteran backstops on their roster, and each one played a crucial role in 2017. Evan Gattis and Brian McCann – still getting paid by the Yankees – have rotated behind the plate throughout the past two years, establishing themselves as one of the league’s more prominent backstop duos.

The Houston Astros probably don’t need an upgrade in the position compared to most other teams. But the front office isn’t being complacent – it wants to improve the club.

MLB analyst Jon Heyman reported that the Astros are currently pursuing Jonathan Lucroy to improve their catching situation. The two-time All-Star has been on three different teams across the previous two seasons after being dealt twice at the trade deadline.

He still possesses value at the position, even though he’s not the elite player he once was in Milwaukee.

Jonathon Lucroy may never recreate his 2014 season. He slapped a league-leading 53 doubles that year and finished fourth in the National League MVP voting. Though he didn’t match those numbers in 2015 or 2016, he was still considered one of the best behind the plate.

And that’s why Houston is pondering whether to bring him to Minute Maid Park or not. Ironically, he doesn’t live too far away from the stadium, giving them the advantage in terms of proximity. 

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Nevertheless, while Lucroy did not enjoy his strongest season in Texas last year, he still exhibited his worth during his short stint in Colorado.

Though he lacked power, the 31-year-old managed to hit .310 with 11 extra-base hits in 142 at-bats. He also displayed superb plate discipline, drawing more walks than strikeouts as a Rockie.

Houston arguably doesn’t need an upgrade at catcher. The Astros’ catchers ranked sixth in the league in OPS and led the league in homers. Both Gattis and McCann smacked more than 10 bombs and compiled more than 50 RBIs.

Yet, with Carlos Beltran retiring, manager AJ Hinch will likely slide Gattis into the designated hitter spot, as McCann is a better defensive choice. The addition of Lucroy would take a load off of McCann’s shoulders and allow him and Gattis to platoon at DH.

Simply put, Lucroy would provide even more depth for a team that just claimed its first World Series title. It also helps that the catcher plays relatively well at Minute Maid Park. He sports a .290 career average at the location with six home runs. That’s tied for the second-most he’s at in any stadium not named Miller Park.

Next: Left-handed pitching options for the Stros' bullpen

If that isn’t enough of a reason to sign with the team, I don’t know what is. I’m kidding – winning a World Series helps too.