In the immediate aftermath of Chase Headley electing to go back to the Yankees on a four-year deal, one of the precious few remaining infield bats went right off the board: Jed Lowrie is headed back to the Houston Astros on a three-year, $23 million deal (plus a club option for 2018).
It’s a relatively modest deal, but a pretty fair one for a guy who can play shortstop and provide league-average offense (with a little upside from time to time). Lowrie’s market wasn’t entirely clear, but Jerry Crasnick says he was a third base option for the Giants (who had also been pursuing Headley).
If, then, the Giants turn to the trade market to fill the hole at third base, as we discussed earlier, it’s possible they’ll come running to the Cubs to try and put together a deal for Luis Valbuena. That’s also true of any other team in need of a third baseman or a second baseman, and two of the best non-trade options became unavailable today. And, note: Lowrie was also a shortstop option (that’s where he’ll play for the Astros), so, to the extent an interested team wants to try and take a run at one of the Cubs’ other young middle infielders, well, you never know what might pop up later in the offseason.
The Cubs’ enviable supply of infielders is becoming more and more enviable – of course, you could also argue that, as the offseason has gone on, the Cubs have looked less and less likely to trade from that position of strength right now.