MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Market for Lucroy's services picking up steam

Market for Lucroy's services picking up steam

Trade talks surrounding Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy have intensified over the past 48 hours, sources say, and he was notably absent from Milwaukee's lineup Thursday.

While day games after night games are a frequent occasion for everyday catchers to rest, multiple sources indicate the chances of a deal involving Lucroy have increased.

• Could Tigers have pieces to trade for Lucroy?

The Indians remain among the strongest suitors for Lucroy, sources say. They need Lucroy defensively (following Yan Gomes' long-term injury) and offensively (with the murky prognosis for left fielder Michael Brantley).

The Tribe's lineup has been inconsistent recently, scoring three runs or fewer in four of the past five games. Cleveland was swept by Baltimore while facing exclusively right-handed starters, and Stephen Strasburg dominated the Indians at Progressive Field on Wednesday afternoon. Lucroy has an .888 OPS against righties this year.

Lucroy, widely praised for his game-calling and receiving skills, is the rare catcher who should transition well to a team laden with power-armed starters who are difficult to catch.

The Red Sox also are among the teams interested in Lucroy, according to ESPN, and on Thursday afternoon FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal Tweeted that the Brewers had re-engaged the Mets regarding the backstop. The Rangers are known to be looking for a catcher, as well, but they remain focused on upgrading their starting rotation after acquiring Lucas Harrell and left-handed reliever Dario Alvarez from the Braves for Travis Demeritte on Wednesday.

Morosi on latest Deadline news

• The Marlins went 45-35 during Dee Gordon's suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, raising questions about his role now that he's returned to the active roster. The answer is that team officials are counting on him to resume his prior job as the everyday second baseman, with Derek Dietrich becoming a utilityman. Dietrich played brilliantly in the initial weeks after Gordon's suspension began, but he has a .607 OPS since June 1.

• One subtle benefit of the Cubs' moves for Aroldis Chapman and Mike Montgomery well in advance of the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Monday at 4 p.m. ET: They can turn their attention to other pursuits, including the possibility of dealing for Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick. Speaking of the A's, they are cautiously optimistic that Rich Hill (blister) will be able to start Sunday in one final showcase before Monday's Deadline.

• Consider what left-hander Boone Logan has done for the Rockies this season, relative to Chapman with the Yankees:

Logan: 1.83 FIP, 0.862 WHIP
Chapman: 1.93 FIP, 0.894 WHIP

Logan has faced a higher percentage of left-handers, but the fact remains: For teams that need help controlling lefties in the late innings, Logan has been one of the Majors' best this year. The Giants are among the teams talking with the Rockies about him.

• Finally, a telling statistic about the Rangers' rotation: Cole Hamels is Texas' only starter to win a game over the past month.

Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.