Michael Scannell - Trade Target(?): Jed Lowrie



As Matt Harvey's injury has complicated the Mets' plans for next year, many fans are already writing 2014 off.  This is a mistake.  If the Mets had been pinning all of their hopes on one players (even one as dominating as Harvey), they were already in trouble.  With Wheeler, Niese, Mejia, Torres, Gee, Montero, and DeGrom all as potential rotation pieces, as well as an assumed call-up of Thor at some point, and the ability to sign a free agent stop-gap, the team still has the pitching to compete for a playoff spot.  Given that next year is the year we were expecting marked improvement, we should not just throw in the towel.  Even if Harvey was available next year, the offense would still need to be addressed.  Instead of punting, why not continue on the path we're on.  There's no harm in continuing to build the team.  When Harvey returns, he can return to a team that is building momentum and could be in a position to take the next step.

One of the positions the Mets need to fill is SS.  There aren't many options on the free agent market and a solution will likely have to be found via trade.  In keeping with that, I offer Jed Lowrie as a solution.

Lowrie is a swith-hitting short stop currently playing for the Oakland A's.  This year he's hitting .290 with a .350 OBP and close to an .800 OPS.  He makes good contact (less than 100 K's) and his 10 HR are solid pop for a middle infielder.  He hits almost equally well from both sides of the plate and his home/road splits are comparable.  His defense at SS is also good, making him a valuable two-way player.

His bat profiles well out of the #2 spot in the lineup and could squeeze in between Choo or Ellsbury (assuming one is signed to hit leadoff) and David Wright.  If the Mets are also able to acquire Troy Tulowitzki to hit in the middle of the lineup, Lowrie could shift to 2B as he has played there before, giving the Mets a very valuable middle infield.

Why would the A's trade him?  Lowrie is making an affordable $2.4M this year, something a small market team like the A's values highly.  However, he is likely in line for a raise in arbitration ($4.5-5M) next year and will hit free agency after the 2014 season.  Oakland's business model points to him being dealt, either in the offseason or at the deadline.  Players like Lowrie are moved before they become too expensive.  A team like the Mets can afford to pay Lowrie and have a desperate need for someone with his skillset.

What would it take to acquire him?  It's difficult to say, but I could see a deal built around Tejada, a young, lesser pitching prospect (Verrett?), and another hitter.  He would carry a price tag, but it won't be anything near what a superstar hitter would command.



Zozo said...

I like that idea, but I would also try and target castro and Andrus as well. Both just got signed to extensions and are coming off down years. I believe they will be able to rebound from this years results and they are both still really young. So sign me up for 1 of the 3. Don't get me wrong Tulo would be an amazing get if that we're possible!!!

Reese said...

Let's not forget Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera who has not put up the big numbers that won him his contract either.

Zozo said...

Very true, but how is he on defense?

Kevin said...

I really don't see the A's moving Lowrie. They are a contender right now and Lowrie is they stop gap until Addison Russell comes up in 2015. I like Lowrie for the Mets but $4-5M for a solid two-way shortstop is value and I doubt the A's move him for that kind of package.

I could however see a package deal of Michael Choice and Lowrie moved from something like Flores, Tejada and Famila. Hell I could see both guys we just got from Pittsburg being flipped along with Flores for Choice and Lowrie. Choice is the A's best hitting prospect who is blocked in the OF. They could get rid of Crisp and get Choice on the field or they could move him for an infielder like Flores who could be the 2B they've been looking for or 3B. Flores, like Choice, is being blocked at his best position 3B. I like him be he's not a 2B. We gotta move him.

Michael Scannell said...

If we had to trade more value for Lowrie I'd still do it. I think he'll be available because I can't see Oakland re-signing him or losing him for nothing.

Flores's value to the Mets is at 2B but I don't think he can play strong enough defense there. I'd move him but I'd like to package him to acquire a power hitter.

Michael Scannell said...

zozo - I would stay clear of Andrus and that contract. If he were a bit less expensive, I'd be for it...unfortunately the $130-140M payroll days won't be seen again soon and the Mets need a middle of the order hitter as well.

Just for S&G -

1. CF Ellsbury (16)
2. 2B Lowrie (5)
3. 3B Wright (20)
4. SS Tulowitzki (16)
5. LF Beltran (12)
6. Ca d'Arnaud (.5)
7. 1B Davis (4)
8. RF Lagares (.5)

That's $74M, plus around $7-8M for the staff brings the Mets to $81-$82M. That team would be reasonably priced, score enough runs to support the pitching staff, and play excellent defense. I'd like to see the team move Davis as well, save that $4-5M and play a younger player. I'd expect the FO to work its magic and find an undervalued player who can play a serviceable 1B and hit well enough to bat 7th.

Mack Ade said...

we need more posts on here about players we need to have rather than the same old guys we already have :)

Hobie said...

Michael— I cannot imagine a Tulo trade that wouldn’t seriously jeopardize the near-term (2-3 yr) dream rotation. Maybe that would be worth it if Matz & Ynoa had health reliability that matches their up-side. But then there’s the LOC issue Tulo) too—which makes me doubt that Elsbury is in SA’s calculus (i.e years, not $$$). I’m in for bringing Beltran back (or Choo).

Add Kevin’s Lowrie/Flores deal (Would love to add Choice too, but imagine Crisp more likely in the package deal suggested) and maybe it looks like this:

CF-Crisp; 2B-Murphy; 3B-Wright; RF-Beltran; C-TdA; 1B-Davis; LF-Brown/EYJ (Puello in July); SS-Lowrie.

In my dreams:
(1) I sign Abreu (peddle him to AL as a DH when Dom Smith is ready—unless the NL has a DH by then); and
(2) Dump Ike (+?) to COL for Pomeranz and Kyle Parker.

And while I’m dreaming, there’s the 2011/12 Reuben Tejada. If he just hadn’t stole that last roll of toilet paper from Collin’s office.

Michael Scannell said...

Well, my "dream rotation" might look different than others'. I see it shaking out as:

SP1 Harvey
SP3 Wheeler
SP4 Syndergaard
SP5 Niese

Since we're 'dreaming', my SP2 is an acquired David Price, likely after next year. Harvey is obviously untouchable, I keep Niese as the lone LHP, and Wheeler and Syndergaard are my top two of the other arms. That makes Gee, Montero, Mjia, et. al. all trade fodder in my book.

If we're exiling Ike to Colorado (I like it, they need a 1B and Davis could easily have a career resurgence in their environment, thus making him valuable to them), I'd package him with Gee, Montero, and whatever else the Rockies want. The only players off the list for me are Wright, d'Arnaud, Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, and Syndergaard.

It's also worth mentioning that it's been rumored that part of SA's thinking is to deal mid-tier hitters (Duda, Murphy, etc.) for whatever young pitching he can wrangle. If he can get a couple of young arms and flip those pitchers in another deal, it just adds to the Mets' flexibility. I'm not expecting a Wheeler in return, but maybe more on the Odorizzi-level. And don't forget Parnell...his injury status might make moving him dubious, but Sandy has valued him highly and is not against trading him.

Kevin said...

Here are the guys I want to see on the team. I'll list a prospect and an established player:

C: Keep d'Arnaud; resign vet like Buck

1B: Abreu (He counts as a prospect since he's never had a major league at bat) / Kendrys Morales/Cory Hart

2B: Keep in house w/ Murphy or Flores

SS: Chris Owings (ARZ) / Stephen Drew

3B: Captain America

OF: Michael Choice (OAK) or Joc Pederson (LAD) / Dexter Fowler (trade) or Granderson.

I just don't see an established slugger along the lines of Justin Upton being available. I think Fowler could be available and I think he would be a great addition for the Mets. We will still need some sort of power/cleanup hitter on this team because after Wright, nobody on this team is capable of hitting more than 15 HRs next season. Top power hitters that will be free agents would be Abreu and Granderson. I think this team needs one of them.

Now lets just finish in the bottom 10. Actually, lets dream big and go for bottom 5.

Michael Scannell said...

I'm all for getting as high a draft pick as possible. I think Rodon will be out of reach but I really want Alex Jackson to add to the younger core we're building on the farm.


The next wave is shaping up nicely as well.

Michael Scannell said...

I'll be happy to keep 'em coming lol

Mack Ade said...

Rodon is a lock for the first pick in the draft.

No one right now is a lock for #2, but Jackson will go as one of the first 10 picks

Mack Ade said...

Kevin, IMO, the Mets don't have a single outfielder that can someday make an all-star team. That's what your goal is and this team doesn't have anyone that can do that.

Cesar Puello, Dustin Lawley, and Brandon Nimmo show potential, but so did Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter...

Juan Lagares, Matt den Dekker and Eric Young Jr. are one dimension, platoon type players.

And... the Mets continue to ignore drafting top OF prospects like Michael Choice.

Kevin said...

Exactly. I think all four of these outfielders I listed have All-Star potential. I know people hate Pederson's numbers vs lefties but his OBP is over .380, he has more than 20 HRs and 30 steals. I'll take that potential all day. He has absolutely nowhere to go with the Dodgers unless they plan on keeping him in the minors for another 2 years.

Michael Scannell said...

I really like Pederson. I don't what it would take to get him, but he looks like a full-time OF to me.

Michael Scannell said...

Then the Mets better start losing more games :)

Mack Ade said...

But the Met have nothing but pitching to get players like Peterson and injuries have put the breaks on that.

It's not just Harvey... it's Familia, Hefner, Mejia...

The Mets have no choice but to execute two plans:

1. continue to try and firm up a 5-man rotation they can build a team around (right now... Wheeler, Niese, Gee... maybe Montero out of ST... maybe Syndergaard July 1)

2. try to pull off secondary trades that 'steal' prospects like Herrera.


You are looking at no playoffs in 2014 based on these two plans.

Kevin said...

I think Murphy would fit nicely on the Dodgers whose biggest holes are at 2B and 3B. The Dodgers are in serious win now mode and a trade of Murphy and Gee for Pederson (and maybe Chris Reed) would've made a lot of sense for both teams up until a week ago.

I still don't think we should change our approach to this offseason. Keep Montero up out of spring training. I'm sure they could also find any one of 10 SP on the free agent market to take a 1-year deal for decent money. Dan Haren comes to mind as a guy who could take a 1-year deal trying to reestablish himself before hitting the market again. See how Mejia rebounds in the spring. Our rotation at the end of the season could be Niese, Wheeler, Montero, Mejia, Haren and Syndergaard with Gorski / Mazzoni / Verrett / deGrom sitting around in Triple A.

I like Gee a lot but he's nothing special. Lets trade him while his value is high. One of the 4 AAA guys I listed above should be able to step up and fill his 5th starter role on this team.

Looking back, I wonder if there were any offers for Hefner at the deadline...

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