Report: Jonathan Lucroy Close to Contract with Oakland Athletics

Jonathan Lucroy will try to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 with a new team, as he and the Oakland Athletics are nearing a deal, per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

This will be the catcher's fourth team in three years after he was traded during each of the last two seasons. Splitting time with the Rangers and Rockies last season, he batted .265 with six home runs, which was his lowest total since his rookie year in 2010, when he played just 75 games.

On the plus side, he hit .310 with a .429 on-base percentage in 46 games with Colorado after the July trade from Texas.

Lucroy played most of his first seven seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, earning two All-Star appearances and finishing fourth in MVP voting in 2014. He was known as a good-hitting catcher who was elite behind the plate, adding some pop as his career progressed.

The 31-year-old hit a career-high 24 home runs in 2016.

Even after an up-and-down year as a hitter, Lucroy has the talent to be an impact player in all aspects of the game. His positive experience with pitchers and ability to frame balls should also help the Athletics' pitching staff for the upcoming season.  

His new team might not expect him to return to being an MVP candidate, but the veteran should be a quality addition to help the squad contend in 2018.  

The A's, who went 75-87 last season, have made incremental improvements this offseason. They also acquired outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the St. Louis Cardinals to boost their offensive production.  

Lucroy is coming off a down year, but he was among the best catchers in MLB during the 2016 season. He's a low-cost asset for a rebuilding team like Oakland to take a chance on, knowing it will be able to flip him at the trade deadline if things don't go its way in a competitive American League West.  

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