Texas Rangers rumors: Jonathan Lucroy and the Texas Rangers have tabled discussions on a potential contract extension, according to Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal suggests that Lucroy might be waiting to see what fellow catcher Yadier Molina ends up agreeing to on an extension with the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, Jon Heyman says that the Cardinals and Molina are getting close on a possible extension — if something does get worked it, it would stand to reason that the Rangers and Lucroy might start talks back up again.
Rosenthal indicates that Lucroy is expected to command slightly less than the $17-18 million Molina is expected to get. The Rangers acquired Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress at the trade deadline last year in exchange for a hefty prospect package — outfielder Lewis Brinson, pitcher Luis Ortiz, and outfielder Ryan Cordell.
Lucroy is slated to hit the free agent market this offseason, and would be one of the top position players on the market. There’s mutual interest in a deal, though I imagine length would be the sticking point -- Lucroy turns 31 in June, and one would have to think the Rangers would be reluctant to go more than three or four years, given how quickly catchers tend to age. In addition, Lucroy suffered a concussion in 2015 that significantly impacted him, and a subsequent concussion could jeopardize his future.
This is Lucroy’s one opportunity at a big pay day — his current deal was signed when he had just a year and a half of service time, and will end up paying him around $16 million. Russell Martin got a 5 year, $82 million deal when he hit the free agent market after the 2014 season, and it isn’t unreasonable to think that Lucroy could exceed that mark.