The Los Angeles Angels reportedly secured a new backstop on Friday — someone with history in the American League West. Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Angels and free-agent Jonathan Lucroy have reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth more than $3 million:
Lucroy, 32, spent last season with the Oakland Athletics. He didn’t perform well, hitting .241/.291/.325 with four home runs in more than 400 at-bats. His 71 OPS+ was the lowest full-season mark of his career — notable, given he’d set the previous low a year prior. Lucroy’s defense, once a strength, has also slipped in recent years to the point where he now checks in as well-below-average.
Still, the deal is understandable from the Angels’ perspective. The money is trifling and the Angels were currently projected to enter the season with a catching tandem of Jose Briceno and Kevan Smith, with Smith having been claimed off waivers in October from the Chicago White Sox.
It’s fair to question whether Lucroy will ever be a productive big-league player again. But, at the absolute worst, he gives the Angels another option to trot out there. That’s worth something, just not much.