Minnesota needs to find an experienced replacement for Jason Castro
Minnesota once had a backup catcher named Matthew Lecroy, whose last name is just a different letter from the player who could soon become the Twins’ regular backup. Now that an injury has sidelined Jason Castro for the rest of this season, second-place Minnesota must replace him with an experienced receiver.
An obvious choice would be TJ Realmuto of the Marlins, who made him available over the winter as part of their rebuild. Apparently, Miami’s asking price is too high, due to the status of the Realmuto team’s friendly contract.
Former Twins wide receiver Kurt Suzuki will likely request a consult, but his current team, Atlanta, is in the lead and isn’t likely to want to turn things around when dealing with his veteran backup. Few other clubs have the luxury of additional wide receivers, except possibly for the Indians.
Cleveland has a couple of talented catchers on the Major League team, while one of its top prospects is also a catcher. Francisco Mejia at age twenty-two already had some big league experience, but because of the two guys in front of him, the Indians have Mejia trying out other positions this year.
While a trade to the Twins would allow Mejia to remain in his natural position, a deal is unlikely. First, the Minnesota Wild prefers a veteran catcher with experience in a pennant race. Also, the Twins don’t need a long-term replacement, just a catcher to replace Castro for the rest of this season. It’s also doubtful the Indians would make a deal that would strengthen a Minnesota team that is just one game behind them in the standings.
One name that came up certainly meets the experience criteria and a short-term stay, and remains unsigned after filing for free agency last November. Although Carlos Ruiz led the Philadelphia Phillies to two pennants as well as a World Series Championship, at nine and thirty he would be considered an old man for the exacting demands of an everyday catcher.
That brings us back to former Twins catcher with the French name, Matthew Lecroy. He has been off the field for more than a decade and is currently employed as a coach in the minor leagues, so obviously he will not be Castro’s replacement.
No, Minnesota’s next receiver won’t be Lecroy, but it should be Lucroy. That’s the last name of All-Star catcher Jonathan, who currently announces games for the A’s.
With Oakland in the midst of a rebuild and holding back the rest of the teams in the AL West, the front office would likely be willing to trade Lucroy for a top-10 Twins prospect. Since he only signed for 2018, Minnesota would simply lease Lucroy for this season.
Giving up a prospect for a rental player might seem shortsighted, until you consider the Twins’ position this year. Everyone in their division other than Cleveland is in rebuilding mode, giving Minnesota plenty of win prospects and a good chance to repeat as a Wild Card if they can’t beat the Indians.
Basically, the Twins need to attack now.