Late Night Transactions: Phillies Add Veteran Lucroy, Bird
After the Phillies defeated the New York Mets 4-1 on Monday night, the Phillies were active in trying to find some roster reinforcements. On the Phillies had placed first baseman Rhys Hoskins on the 10-day injured list with a UCL injury, and announced that catcher J.T. Realmuto could not play due to a hip injury. The Phillies added one at each position to their depth.
The Phillies announced after 11:00 p.m. that they had signed veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy and first baseman Greg Bird to minor league deals. Both players will report to the alternate training site in Allentown at Coca-Cola Park. The move gives the Phillies depth at both positions.
The 34 year-old Lucroy has played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, and Boston Red Sox in a career that dates back to 2010. He most recently spent time with the Boston Red Sox in 2020. While originally cut for pitching, the Red Sox claimed Phillies catcher Deivy Grullon on waivers, effectively replacing Lucroy as the third catcher.
Lucroy spent five games on the active roster but did not have an at bat. Lucroy batted a combined .232 in 101 games with the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels in 2019. Lucroy spent the early part of 2020 recovering from neck surgery
Bird was once an "untouchable" Yankees prospect. Ranked 80 out of the top 100 MLB Prospects by Keith Law, Bird never really found his footing as a New York Yankees star. A frequent member of the disabled list, Bird was designated for assignment by the Yankees following the 2019 season.
In 2020, Bird signed with the Texas Rangers and was recalled on July 31. However, Bird suffered an injury before he could play a single game. The Rangers ultimately was outrighted to the minor leagues, an assignment Bird rejected, becoming a free agent.
The Phillies could wait and see how both young catcher Rafael Marchan and the likes of Jay Bruce do at first base before deciding whether or not to summon either player. For now, both appear to be depth in the hands of the Phillies. As the trade deadline is long-passed, free agency is the one opportunity for the Phillies to add players to their increasingly-injured ball club.