With what should be one of the best dollar to value signings of the 2018-19′ offseason, the Mets have signed Jed Lowrie to a 2 year, 20 million dollar deal.
There is good reason to be excited about Lowrie. Jed is a soon-to-be 35 year old veteran who has spent his career with the Red Sox, Astros and Athletics. He’s a plus defender at 2nd base, and though has played 3B scarcely in recent seasons is likely playable or average there.
What’s most exciting, however, is his bat. But how, you say? He’s almost 35! His best two seasons were his last 2! He is sure to decline!
There is truth to this:
There is a pretty significant reason why this sudden boost in performance happened. Lowrie had a deviated septum, leading to some major difficulty sleeping, detailed in this article here. Since having the septum surgery prior to 2017, and becoming a data driven sabre-metric fanboy, Lowrie has absolutely raked, and Mets fans should be swooning he came so cheap.
What does this mean for the rest of the team? There are several theories to come up with. Presuming Lowrie takes over at 3rd (he is unlikely to supplant 2B stalwart Robinson Cano), Todd Frazier is displaced, likely to a bench role, or starting at 1B until it is Peter Alonso time. This also makes newly acquired JD Davis redundant, unless the Mets find a trading partner for Frazier. Jeff McNeil likely just saw a few of his at-bats dry up, but there is good reason to presume manager Mickey Callaway will find him as much time as possible between veterans Cano and Lowrie, and even in the outfield when he feels another bat is necessary.
2017-2018 fWAR 2nd base leaders:
1)Jose Altuve: 12.5
2)Jed Lowrie: 8.5
6) Robinson Cano: 6.1*
*missed 80 games in 2018
While there has been good question recently as to new GM Brodie Van Wagenen’s trades, his FA signings (Familia, Ramos and Lowrie) have been aggressive and are likely to provide plenty of value to the Mets over the next few years.