Mets Sign Infielder Jed Lowrie to Bolster Their Versatility

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A part of the explanation the Mets stumbled the final two seasons was a startling lack of depth. The groups that succeeded them as Nationwide League champions since 2015 — the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers — had versatile, interchangeable elements all through their lineups. Their gamers stayed contemporary and their managers had the instruments to take advantage of matchup benefits. The Mets didn’t, they usually fell far behind.

To assist treatment that, the Mets reached a two-year, $20 million contract settlement on Thursday with Jed Lowrie, an All-Star for the Oakland Athletics who hit .267 with a .353 on-base share and a career-high 23 residence runs final season. The deal was confirmed by two individuals with direct data of it who couldn’t communicate publicly as a result of Lowrie should cross a bodily to make the contract official.

Lowrie, a switch-hitter who turns 35 in April, has made 265 begins over the past two seasons at second base — the identical place as Robinson Cano, whom the Mets acquired from the Seattle Mariners final month in Brodie Van Wagenen’s first commerce as common supervisor. However the Mets don’t see this as an issue.

Lowrie has made 480 profession begins at shortstop and 111 at third base. Cano, 36, may also play first base, as can Todd Frazier, the on a regular basis third baseman who turns 33 subsequent month. The Mets’ two different main infielders — shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith — are solely 23 years outdated.

The concept could be to divide the 4 infield spots amongst these 5 gamers based mostly on matchups, with infielder Jeff McNeil — who hit .329 in 63 video games as a rookie final season — shifting to the outfield. McNeil has began solely 5 video games within the outfield within the minors and has not performed there within the majors.

Even so, the concept of McNeil becoming a member of the group of outfielders — with Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton — excites the Mets, who envision a unit there that’s as versatile because the one within the infield. The potential summer season return of Yoenis Cespedes, who’s recovering from surgical procedure on each heels, would additional jolt the offense.

The Mets want the elevate. Just one group within the majors had fewer hits final season than the Mets — the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies, who’ve added shortstop Jean Segura and left fielder Andrew McCutchen and are courting Manny Machado and Bryce Harper in free company.

Whereas the Mets aren’t negotiating with Machado or Harper — who may return to the Washington Nationals, one other division rival — Van Wagenen has been lively available on the market. He has additionally signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year, $19 million deal; reliever Jeurys Familia to a three-year, $30 million deal; and traded for Cano, nearer Edwin Diaz, infielder/outfielder J.D. Davis and Broxton, amongst others. (Lowrie, like Cano, was a consumer of Van Wagenen’s in his former profession as an agent.)

The Mets introduced one other signing on Thursday to fortify their bullpen, agreeing on a minor league cope with Luis Avilan, a left-hander who has spent most of his profession with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. In 70 video games final season for the Chicago White Sox and the Phillies, Avilan, 29, had a three.77 earned run common and held left-handers to a .220 common.

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