The New York Mets have finally signed another big league free agent. Although it isn’t what the fans wanted, the Mets did come up with a quality player to add some depth to their roster. The Mets have signed infielder Jed Lowrie to a two year deal worth at least $20 million, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Lowrie, 34, hit .267 with 23 home runs and 99 RBI’s while making the All Star team as a member of the Oakland A’s last season.
This deal is the first big league free agent the Mets have signed since bringing in Wilson Ramos in mid-December, and it’s a good move. Lowrie can play all over the infield, and he spent most of 2018 starting at second base for Oakland. The Mets have Robinson Cano at second, but Lowrie can also back up Amed Rosario at shortstop while drawing starts at third base and first base. Lowrie’s presence also frees up the Mets to use Jeff McNeil more as the fifth outfielder, although either could play first base at the start of the year if the team opts to start Peter Alonso at AAA due to service time considerations.
The Mets clearly plan on using Lowrie all over the diamond because they didn’t give him $10 million a year to come off the bench. Lowrie fits the archetype the Mets were looking at with Marwin Gonzalez, minus the experience in the outfield, at a cheaper rate than Gonzalez likely ends up getting. The move for Lowrie probably rounds out the Mets’ offense for the winter, but it remains to be seen if they will address the bullpen or starting rotation depth further in free agency.