The Phillies have signed catcher Jonathan Lucroy to a minor-league contract, the club announced late Tuesday night (as related by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury). The Red Sox had released Lucroy earlier in the day.
Lucroy, 34, will provide some veteran insurance behind the plate for the Phillies, who need an immediate replacement for starter J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto suffered a strained left hip flexor Saturday, leaving Philadelphia with Andrew Knapp and Rafael Marchan (who had never played above A-ball) as their only two catchers.
For players to be eligible for the postseason, clubs needed to add them to their organizations by midnight on Sept. 15. It appears the Red Sox granted the veteran his release just in time for him to sign with the Phillies and be postseason-eligible despite that Philadelphia initially optioned him to their alternate training site at Lehigh Valley.
Lucroy, a two-time All-Star with the Brewers in 2014 and 2016, signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox in late February. He was a star of spring training and looked good at the beginning of summer training camp as he worked his way back from offseason surgery to remove a herniated disc in his neck. The 34-year-old made the Sox’ Opening Day roster and appeared in one game for Boston before being designated for assignment and ultimately assigned to the club’s alternate site in Pawtucket at the end of July.
Lucroy spent much of the last two months in Pawtucket, working with Boston’s young pitchers and serving as a mentor. In August, he said he hoped another opportunity would arise in the majors by the end of the year.
“There were no other teams that claimed me. That means no one wanted me,” Lucroy said. “That doesn’t mean that that can’t happen still. I’m here to continue to play games and continue to work to get better. If the Red Sox need me, I’ll be available. And if another team needs me, then I’m sure that we can figure something out where I can go and play for them. So it’s just a matter of opportunity and improving upon my game here. So that’s all I’m worried about. I’m just happy to have a place to play and have a place where I can work and improve.”
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