Once upon a time, Jed Lowrie seemed like a fairly reasonable free agent target for the Chicago Cubs. But that market/relationship never really developed, and now it never will:
Free agent infielder Jed Lowrie is in agreement with the New York Mets on a two-year deal, league sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 10, 2019
So what did it take to get Lowrie, who, while 34 years old was worth nearly 5.o WAR last season and 8.5 WAR over the past two years? Only two years and $20M total. Yep. That’s it.
Before the offseason began, a $10M average annual value for Lowrie seemed fair, but several major projections had him landing at least three years in a deal, despite his age. And he’s certainly got the potential to be worth FAR more than that. Chalk it up as more proof that free agent deals are getting shorter and shorter, I guess.
As for market-impact: We were warned that the infield market might start moving (more on that in a bit) and now it looks like Brian Dozier’s deal with the Nationals may have sparked some real movement – hopefully, it continues.
For what it’s worth, the Brewers are reportedly looking to add someone at second or third base and Lowrie was among the rumored options (along with fellow free agents Marwin Gonzalez, Wilmer Flores, Josh Harrison and trade candidate Joe Panik). So one silver-lining, if I’m forced to stretch, is that an attractive infield option was removed from Milwaukee’s grasp – but, again: given the way this market has gone, I don’t think they’ll have any trouble adding a talented somebody.
Only the Cubs seem to have that problem. 🙂
UPDATE: As for the Mets, they’ve done A LOT this winter to propel themselves back into contention, while keeping pace with the active and talented Braves, Nationals, and Phillies organizations. According to Heyman, the Mets plan to use Lowrie all over:
Lowrie is a great fit for Mets since they may need help at 1B and 3B and he can also spell Rosario at SS. Switch hitter whose best two offensive seasons were his last two. Mets are having among best winters in baseball.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 10, 2019
That division will be tough.