At the cusp of the trade deadline Monday, the Milwaukee Brewers struck a deal that sends catcher Jonathan Lucroy and closer Jeremy Jeffress to the Texas Rangers in exchange for outfielder Lewis Brinson, right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz and a player to be named later.
“While it is extremely difficult to part with players the caliber of Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress, we are excited to add more young and talented players to the organization as we continue to build toward future winning seasons in Milwaukee,” Brewers General Manager David Stearns said in a statement. “We would like to thank Jonathan for his seven years of not only All-Star play on the field, but for the leadership and dedication that he and his wife, Sarah, displayed throughout the community. We also would like to thank Jeremy for his contributions to the Brewers, particularly his admirable work as a first-time closer this season.”
Lucroy has spent his entire career with the Brewers after being drafted in 2007. The two-time All Star (in 2014 and 2016) batted .284 with 79 home runs and 387 RBI in 805 games during seven seasons with the Brewers (2010-16), including .299 (101-for-338) with 13 HR and 50 RBI in 95 games this season.
Jeffress, 28, returned to the Brewers in 2014 and took over the closer’s role this season. He’s maintained a 2.36 ERA and notched 27 saves (all this season) in 148 relief appearances since 2014. He was originally selected by Milwaukee in the first round (16th overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Brinson, 22, entered the 2016 season ranked by both Baseball America and MLBPipeline.com as the second-best prospect in the Rangers organization. He is currently ranked 30th and 21st, respectively, in all of baseball by those outlets.
Brinson was selected by Texas in the first round (29th overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He batted .237 (72-for-304) with 11 home runs, 40 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 77 games at Double-A Frisco this season.
Ortiz, 20, entered the 2016 season ranked by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Rangers organization. He entered this season ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the fifth-best prospect in their organization and currently ranks third. He is currently ranked 74th and 63rd, respectively, in all of baseball by those outlets.
Ortiz was selected by Texas in the first round (30th overall) of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. He went 4-6 with 3.48 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) between Class-A High Desert (7g, 6gs, 3-2, 2.60era) and Double-A Frisco (9g, 8gs, 1-4, 4.08era).
The trade comes after a larger deal was scuttled by Lucroy, who declined to waive his limited no-trade clause to join the Cleveland Indians.
Following the announcement of the trade, the Brewers called up catcher Manny Pina and right handed relief pitcher David Goforth from AAA-class Colorado Springs.
Earlier in the day, the Brewers announced that they’d dealt reliever Will Smith to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right-hander Phil Bickford, the Giants’ first-round picklast year, and catcher Andrew Susac, who has some major league experience and may help fill the hole behind the plate left by Lucroy.