Lucroy, Indians move on from near trade

All-Star catcher facing Tribe this series for first time since vetoing deal

Lucroy, Indians move on from near trade

ARLINGTON -- After Jonathan Lucroy reached second base in the second inning on Thursday night, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor said something to the Rangers catcher before patting him on the back. If Cleveland fans thought Lindor had any harsh words for Lucroy, they were wrong.

"He's cool," Lindor said on Friday afternoon. "I've known his brother and his dad since I was a little kid, because I played against his brother and with his brother when I came to the States. So, it's always cool when you see a familiar face."

If it was not clear enough before, it was made clear once again: Cleveland has moved on from the Lucroy situation.

Prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Indians reached an agreement with the Brewers that would have brought Lucroy to the Tribe in exchange for catcher Francisco Mejia (ranked No. 4 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 30 Indians prospects list), shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang (No. 10), outfielder Greg Allen (No. 20) and righty Shawn Armstrong (No. 29). Then, Lucroy famously rejected the deal, exercising his no-trade clause.

Lucroy was subsequently dealt to the Rangers and has thrived since joining the American League West leaders. Meanwhile, the Indians have continued to receive low offensive output from their catchers while awaiting the return of Yan Gomes (separated right shoulder) from the disabled list.

Lucroy's decision angered Indians fans. Inside the Tribe clubhouse, it is now met with a shrug.

"I think collectively, as an organization and as a team, we moved on pretty fast from that," second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "The only reason we could be mad at him is because he's a good player and we wanted him to play for our team. If it goes past that, there's personal stuff, and no one has any of that, any reason to dislike the guy.

"As the business side of it, we completely understand what he was going through. That doesn't mean he's a bad guy. It doesn't mean anything about him. A lot of us probably would've made the same choice if we were in his position. So, we've moved on real fast from him. That doesn't concern us anymore."

That echoed comments from manager Terry Francona.

"That was his right to do what he wanted," Francona said. "After that, I think you'd be surprised how quickly you move on, because you have to. That's why they have those rights."

Before Friday night's game against Cleveland, Lucroy reiterated that his decision was based on the business side of things and on what he felt was best for his family. At no point did Lucroy let backlash from fans enter into the equation.

"I really never even considered all that stuff," Lucroy said. "My family and our future in this game as a family unit, that's more important than anything. Anytime someone chooses a choice that benefits their family, and benefits the future of their family, I'll never question that ever."

Lucroy declined to comment when asked if he spoke directly to anyone with the Indians prior to the trade. The catcher also tiptoed around a question about why he listed Cleveland among the eight teams on his no-trade list. (The Tigers, Angels, Twins, A's, Padres, Mariners and Nationals were the others.)

"Honestly, it was just one of the teams that I placed on there," Lucroy said. "You can't account for everything, so it's just one of those things. There's a lot of other teams I put on there, too. I don't want to get too deep into the reasons. Everybody has reasons for everything. It's over and done. It's all in the past."

Lucroy added that he has nothing against Cleveland's players. He knows Michael Brantley from his days in the Brewers' system and knows Lindor, who played travel ball with and against Lucroy's younger brother, David, now a Minor Leaguer for Milwaukee.

"They've got a lot of good guys on that team over there," Lucroy said. "I know a lot of those guys over there are high-quality individuals. Like I said, all that stuff is in the past. I'm worried about moving forward."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.