After the Milwaukee Brewers agreed to trade catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Cleveland Indians, some speculated whether the veteran catcher would exercise his no-trade cause.
Sunday morning, Lucroy did just that. The trade between Milwaukee and Cleveland is now voided, as Lucroy did not want to join the Indians organization, who are in the midsts of a playoff run.
How does this affect the Phillies and the future of the National League East?
First off, Milwaukee could turn to the New York Mets, who were reportedly very aggressive in trying to trade for Lucroy, and pull off a deal to send him to the National League East. The addition of a power-hitting catcher could make an emerging powerhouse in Queens even more powerful, just as they retired Mike Piazza’s number.
As for the Phillies, Cleveland will need to look for a catcher elsewhere. Carlos Ruiz and Cameron Rupp are both in play here, and will cost much less than Jonathan Lucroy. With Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro knocking on the door of the big leagues, the Phillies are flexible at the catcher position.
Cleveland has the choice of two entirely different things here: either a veteran catcher who can manage a pitching staff, or a strong young catcher they have long-term control of.
Neither Ruiz or Rupp will bring anything major back to the Phillies, especially since the Indians sent some of their top prospects to the Yankees in exchange for reliever Andrew Miller. Regardless, the Phillies are accumulating young assets, and any talent in the system is a step forward in the right direction.