Friday, January 25, 2013
Lowrie still a trade chip?
By Jason A. Churchill
Despite continuing to miss time due to injury and getting a raise this winter, Jed Lowrie remains a good bargain in Major League Baseball. As an adequate defensive shortstop and one with good on-base skills and a little bit of power, the switch-hitter is likely to remain among the more sought after players in the league, and perhaps the most value member of the Houston Astros.
Lowrie avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $2.4 million contract, tweets CAA Baseball, the agency that represents Lowrie, among many other top talents in the game. The still-low base salary and two more years of club control make Lowrie a constant trade candidate.
He'll turn 28 in April and had a solid 2012, despite a batting average that dipped to .244 -- some of which can be attributed to bad luck, as suggested by .257 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play). He did slug .438 and produce a wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average) of .336, fourth best among shortstops in 2012.
The Astros may not be shopping Lowrie this offseason, but if he gets off to a good start this spring, it's probably just a matter of time before a club such as the Oakland Athletics make a phone call with serious intent, and because his salary remains more than affordable and he's versatile defensively, Lowrie could be an option for any club in need of help around the infield.