The Mets are loading up their infield. Thursday night they agreed to a deal with veteran infielder Jed Lowrie, a team source confirmed. The two-year deal is worth $20 million, $10 million each year.
It’s an interesting move for the Mets, bringing in the 34-year-old into an already crowded infield with the only obvious opening at first base.
The Mets acquired All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano earlier this winter, while Lowrie has primarily played second base the last three seasons. He also had extensive experience earlier in his career at shortstop, where the Mets are grooming Amed Rosario. Lowrie has played 145 big league games at third base, where he could fit in if the Mets decide to move Todd Frazier.
The Mets had just brought in utility infielder/outfielder J.D. Davis and also have infielder Jeff McNeil. They are eager to see McNeil play in 2019 after a very productive rookie season at the plate. Both McNeil and Davis have some experience in the outfield as well.
The team source emphasized that Lowrie will be an everyday player, but he will be used in different positions.
That could mean the Mets will use Frazier and Cano at first base at times this season while the team waits for top hitting prospect Peter Alonso. The Mets will likely start Alonso in the minors for the first few months to maintain an extra year of team control.
It could also mean the Mets are looking to make further moves to clear up their infield situation.
Lowrie, an All Star for the A’s last season, hit .267 with a .353 on-base percentage and a .448 slugging percentage. He has slashed .262/.335/.414 over an 11-year career.
Like Cano, Lowrie is a former client of Van Wagenen’s at CAA, and his price tag of $20 million over two years becomes their biggest position player free agent signing of this offseason, jumping catcher Wilson Ramos’ deal for two years, $19 million. Mets fans may feel the money is misplaced, with two young star players on the market in Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The Mets have not been named as being part of those sweepstakes.