Catcher Jonathan Lucroy has been in the Milwaukee Brewers organization for nine years, but he knows he would be better off on a different club as the Brewers undergo a massive rebuilding project.
The 29-year-old has been mentioned in trade speculation since the 2015 season ended. Lucroy, who has played six seasons with the Brewers’ major league club, has witnessed what has been unfolding in Milwaukee and wants little to do with it.
"I’m not going to sit here and say we’re going to compete for the playoffs this year," Lucroy told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "If I did that, you’d call me a liar. I’d lose credibility and respect. I want to win and I don’t see us winning in the foreseeable future. I want to go to a World Series. That’s what all players want. Rebuilding is not a lot of fun for any veteran guy."
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Although Lucroy is one of Milwaukee’s veterans, he would be relatively affordable for the Brewers to retain, as he’s only owed $4 million for 2016 and has a team option for $5.25 million in 2017.
However, if the Brewers can manage a trade that would send Lucroy elsewhere, he wouldn’t be opposed to it.
In fact, he’d welcome it.
"Yeah, absolutely. I want to win," Lucroy said when asked by the Journal-Sentinel if he would be onboard with being traded. "It’s not guaranteed that I’m going to win if I am traded. But I’m going to be a 30-year-old catcher. I can’t put numbers on how much longer I’m going to play, but as players we want to win. I don’t care about the money; I just want to win. That’s the bottom line."
Lucroy has had a solid career with the Brewers, hitting .282/.340/.430 while averaging 16 home runs and 66 RBI per 162 games.
While he unabashedly welcomes a trade, Lucroy, who was drafted by the Brewers in 2007, assures he won’t be a bad teammate in the event that he remains in Milwaukee.
"If I stay with the Brewers, I’m not going to go out and dog it," he said. "I’m not going to be a bad teammate. I’m not going to be a bad clubhouse guy. I’m not going to be bitter. It’s just part of the game.
"Right now, I’m planning on being with the Brewers. I’m not going to think anything different until something happens. It might and it might not. No one knows. I’m going to go out every day and compete with whatever team I’m with."
Nonetheless, the idea of rebuilding doesn’t bode well with the competitive catcher.
"As a competitor, I’m not OK with rebuilding. I’m not OK with losing," he said. "You don’t want a player to be OK with that. They don’t want a player to be OK with that. As fans, you shouldn’t want a player to be OK with being average or being a mediocre team, and I’m not.
" … I’m not upset about it; I’m not bitter about it. I’m just saying the truth. People have been asking me all offseason what’s going to happen. I’m honest and I tell them. I don’t believe in mincing words. This is a game you want to win at."