The Jed Lowrie situation is becoming even more ridiculous for the New York Mets. The Mets signed Lowrie back in January to a two year, $20 million deal to give themselves depth and a proven switch hitter at the top of the lineup, a move that looked very smart at the time. The problem is that Lowrie has yet to play a game for the big league club, injuring his knee in spring training and then hurting his hamstring while rehabbing the knee injury. It’s been a few weeks since Lowrie played, and Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway told reporters yesterday that Lowrie still isn’t close to appearing in games yet.
In what is the most ironic aspect of this situation, the Mets don’t even really need Jed Lowrie right now. Todd Frazier has been hot at the plate and is a good fielder while J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil are also capable of playing the hot corner. The fact that Lowrie hasn’t started playing games now means that he won’t come back until at least after the All Star Break, with late July looking like the best case scenario. In essence, Lowrie’s deal has turned into a disaster where the Mets have flushed $20 million down the drain.
The Mets don’t have the world’s largest payroll to begin with, and that $20 million dollars could have been spent much more wisely. Adding a true center fielder so the Mets didn’t have to trot out Carlos Gomez every day would have been a good choice. An even better move would have pouring that money into the bullpen, which has struggled to find depth beyond its top relievers. Instead that $20 million is being paid to a guy who has spent pretty much the entire year in Port St. Lucie, nearly 3,000 miles away from Citi Field, in what has become the latest Mets’ injury debacle.