Aug 1, 2016 7:59 PM

Lucroy dealt from Brewers to Rangers

The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — For the second year in a row, the Texas Rangers added a top player who had already nixed a deadline deal to another team.

The AL West-leading Rangers acquired catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, a day after the two-time All-Star catcher blocked a trade that would have sent him to AL Central-leading Cleveland.

Texas also got Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress in the deal that sent two former first-round draft picks, outfielder Lewis Brinson and right-hander Luis Ortiz, to Milwaukee along with a player to be named.

"When a guy like Jonathan Lucroy is available, it kind of stands out," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.

Daniels discussed the catcher with Brewers officials last winter and spring, and thought the chance to get him was done when the Indians had an agreement with Milwaukee.

Texas got All-Star left-hander Cole Hamels at the non-waiver deadline last season after the pitcher voided a proposed trade that would have sent him from Philadelphia to Houston. Hamels is 19-3 with 3.15 ERA in 33 starts since then, and his three-hitter on the final day of the 2015 regular season clinched the division title.

"We lined up well with Milwaukee, kind of like last year with Philadelphia," Daniels said. "Had a team that had very clear direction. They weren't trying to get big league help back where we didn't line up with them. It just made a lot of sense for us."

Texas also dealt three pitching prospects to the rebuilding Yankees for All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran, New York's top offensive player this season.

The 30-year-old Lucroy is hitting .299 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs in 95 games this season. He has been with the Brewers for all six of his major league seasons, hitting .284 in 805 games, and his contract includes a $5.25 million team option for 2017.

On his verified Twitter account, Lucroy wrote, "Now, moving on to the @Rangers let's take this bad boy to the 'ship! Really excited and can't wait to get after it!"

In another tweet, Lucroy thanked Brewers fans and said they would always have a special place in his heart.

Jeffress, 29, is 2-2 with 27 saves and a 2.22 ERA in 47 games this season, the first year as a closer for the 2006 first-round pick. He likely will be in a setup role for the Rangers behind Sam Dyson.

After Lucroy nixed the deal with the Indians, the Brewers went right back to work.

"My phone didn't (stop) buzzing in my pocket ... a pretty good inclination that teams wanted to connect and get back in," general manager David Stearns said. "We regrouped, got back upstairs ... and went back it, and pleased to pull this off today."

Stearns said the Brewers were got "a lot of future value" for Lucroy and Jeffress by adding the former Rangers first-round picks that he called "premium players."

Brinson is a 6-foot-3 center fielder who was the 29th overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft. He is hitting .237 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs in 77 games for Double-A Frisco in the Texas League.

Ortiz was the 30th overall pick in 2014. He is 4-6 with a 3.48 ERA in 16 games combined this season for Class-A High Desert of the California League and Frisco.

Milwaukee was 15 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central before Monday night's game at San Diego.

The Rangers have an AL-high 62 wins after a four-game series sweep of the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals, and a six-game lead over Houston in the AL West.

Texas has used four starting catchers this season, with Bobby Wilson making a team-high 38 starts. Robinson Chirinos has started 33 games, most since coming off the disabled list in early June after missing 53 games because of a broken bone in his right forearm.

To make room on their 40-man roster for Lucroy and Jeffress, the Rangers designated catchers Wilson and Bryan Holaday for assignment. Holaday, recalled an injury rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Round Rock, started 25 games behind the plate for Texas.


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