WASHINGTON — Looking for an experienced catcher to help a young staff, the Rockies acquired two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers for a player to be named, the teams announced on Sunday night.
Lucroy, 31, had struggled offensively this year, hitting .242 with four home runs and 27 RBIs in 77 games. But offense is secondary for a Rockies staff that, at least currently, fields four rookies and a second-year man in the starting rotation, and even when all are healthy doesn’t have a starter older than 28.
The deal occurs on the eve of Monday’s 2 p.m. MT non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Rockies on Wednesday dealt with the Phillies for righty relief pitcher Pat Neshek. Word around the Majors is the Rockies still seek a strong late-innings reliever, preferably one whose contract they control next season.
This is the second year Lucroy, who is in the final year of a six-year, $15.5 million contract, has been dealt near the deadline. Last year, Lucroy used his no-trade provision to nix a deal from the Brewers to the Indians before accepting a trade to the Rangers.
The deal sends Lucroy back to the National League, where he played with the Brewers from 2010-16, and hit .284 with 79 homers and 387 RBIs. Lucroy also established himself as one of the better pitch-framers in the game, and was a key reason for the pitching staff’s success when the Brewers advanced to the National League Championship Series in 2011.
The Rockies have been starting second-year catcher Tony Wolters, 25, who was batting .251 entering his start against the Nationals in Sunday night’s second game of a doubleheader. Veteran Ryan Hanigan, 36, who is hitting .259, is Wolters’ backup.
Wolters and Hanigan have Minor League options.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.