The Houston Astros have agreed to sign shortstop Jed Lowrie to a three-year deal, they announced. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that Lowrie will get a $23 million guarantee with a team option for $6 million, that includes a $1 million buyout.
The Astros add Lowrie to their list of free agent additions. They added relievers Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek already this offseason and now have agreed to terms with the shortstop Lowrie.
Lowrie received interest from multiple teams, including the New York Mets, who desperately need a shortstop in 2015. The Giants inquired on Lowrie to play either second or third, while the Athletics also made an offer to him to play second base, due to the addition of Brett Lawrie.
The 30-year-old Lowrie already spent a season with the Astros, playing with Houston back in 2008. This past season he hit .249/.321/.355 with six home runs and 50 runs batted in over 566 plate appearances with the Oakland Athletics. Lowrie is an average defender, depending on whether you use the metric UZR or defensive runs saved. Overall, he was worth 1.8 fWAR.
The Astros have some real depth around their infield, as their top prospects begin to come up to the major leagues. Jon Singleton reigns out at first, All-Star and AL batting champion Jose Altuve plays second, Matt Dominguez plays third, and Lowrie now plays short. The Astros won 70 games in 2014 and will likely improve in the coming years.
The North Salem HS native was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round of the 2005 MLB Draft. He has hit .261/.330/.411 with 56 homers and 284 runs batted in over 2,535 plate appearances in seven seasons with the Red Sox, Astros, and Athletics. He has been a pretty good defender over his career.