Lucroy deal done

The Brewers and catcher Jonathan Lucroy finalized a five-year contract on Tuesday morning that runs through 2016, covering all of the catcher’s arbitration years, and includes a club option for 2017 that would allow the club to buy a year of free agency.

The sides had been very close to this agreement since Monday, when Lucroy was a last-minute scratch from the Brewers lineup. He is scheduled to return to action Tuesday against the Royals with the ink dry on a new deal.

Lucroy will talk to reporters after batting practice.

“We are pleased that Jonathan has agreed to this extension,” general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement.  “His work ethic and continued development and growth at the Major League level made us feel good about engaging into this extension.  Catching is such an important position to a team’s success, and Jonathan has grasped the challenges.  We project him to improve and become one of the better catchers in the league.”

Lucroy was already signed for 2012, but that agreement was absorbed into the new contract. He enters the season with two years and 136 days of Major League service, and would have likely qualified for arbitration next winter as a “Super 2” player, among the top 22 percent of players with between two and three years of Major League service.

Lucroy becomes the Brewers’ fifth home-grown core player currently under multi-year contracts.  In addition to Lucroy (signed through 2016), the team has reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun (2020), pitcher Yovani Gallardo (2014), second baseman Rickie Weeks (2014) and outfielder Corey Hart (2013) all signed at least through the next two seasons.

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