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Putting a Bow on the Rangers-Brewers Jonathan Lucroy Trade

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Trade deadline puts to rest this one-sided blockbuster

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

#Article9 for me here at Minor League Ball was a piece on how horribly it looked like the Jonathan Lucroy trade was turning out for the Texas Rangers.

Unfortunately, it’s gotten even worse since then. The reason Texas made the deal was to acquire the all-star catcher, who had the all-important extra year of team control.

He was not a rental. Until he forgot how to hit in 2017 and became a rental for someone else, moved on Monday’s trade deadline to the Colorado Rockies.

For a player to be named later.

That’s it. The club also shipped Jeremy Jeffress back to the Brewers for minor league reliever Tayler Scott. Scott will report directly to Triple-A Round Rock, making his debut at the level.

Jeffress was closing for Milwaukee before the Rangers acquired him. Closing. And doing extremely well. 27 saves and just two losses with a 2.22 ERA. Upon moving to Texas, he only pitched 13.1 innings but nevertheless performed admirably.

2017? 5.31 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and was never even considered for the twice-lost closing job in Arlington.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Lucroy followed a similar path, with a strong continuation of his 2016 all-star season, albeit dropping from a stellar .299 average to .276 post-trade. His trademark framing ability behind the plate also began to drop, before taking a complete dive this season.

Accompanied in the descent was his plate production. He caught 77 games with the Rangers (sitting a fairly often 28 times), slashing a career-worst .242/.297/.388. His 30 percent caught stealing rate is his lowest in three seasons.

An extremely team-friendly deal for a year and a half more —along with the arm of Jeffress, also under team control through 2019— enabled Texas to trade one of the game’s best prospects Lewis Brinson and their best arm in the farm Luis Ortiz as well as Ryan Cordell (originally a PTBNL) for the pair of Brewers.

Brinson and Ortiz still look like major future pieces in Milwaukee and Cordell was swapped for reliever Anthony Swarzak at the deadline, adding to the bottomless prospect haven that is now the Chicago White Sox.

To many, the Brewers won this deal at the onset. Months later they still had. Months more they had dominated it and now that the 2017 trade deadline has passed, it’s a clean sweep of unimaginable proportions.