Outbid the Angels to acquire Jonathan Lucroy and Trevor Cahill
The Angels got a steal in this pair of has-beens this off-season in catcher Jonathan Lucroy and starting pitcher Trevor Cahill. Lucroy, a former All-Star behind the dish, signed a one-year, $3.3 million deal with incentives that could raise it near $4 million. Cahill signed a similar contract, a one-year, $9 million deal with incentives that could beef it up to $10.5 million.
Both of these contracts are team-friendly deals that allow for safety on the team side and a bigger payoff on the player’s side next off-season.
The Dodgers really could have used Lucroy. His consistency and defensive ability have begun to wane over the last three seasons, but vestiges of his former self remain. The two-time All-Star hit over .250 in three separate months last season, and kept his walks within three of his strikeouts in two months.
In his 51 high leverage plate appearances, Lucroy hit .267 with a home run, two doubles and more walks than strikeouts. While his Defensive Runs Saved marks over the last two seasons have been negative, he made 15.8% of plays that had just a 1-10% chance of being made and made 33.3% of plays with a 10-40% chance of being made according to Fangraphs.
In Cahill’s case, his season was the story of two halves. In the first half, Cahill pitched to a 3.10 ERA with 50 strikeouts to just 14 walks. At his peak, he allowed just five runs in May, good for a 1.73 ERA. While he struggled to just a 4.37 ERA after the All-Star break, he maintained his strikeout numbers, but he lost some of the control he had found early on, as he got 50 strikeouts but 27 walks.
Both of these players are less expensive than they could be worth, and Lucroy more than Cahill, could have filled holes for the Dodgers. Instead, the other “Los Angeles” team snagged two high upside bargains, keeping them off of what should be a competitive playoff-bound roster.