It’s the hot stove season and fans have been clamoring for a move. Whether it be a corner outfielder or dealing Ike Davis/Lucas Duda, fans want to see a move done by General Manager Sandy Alderson & Co, and rightfully so. This team has more than a few holes, with corner outfield spots and a reliable shortstop being the biggest concerns.
Shortstop Jhonny Peralta has been discussed and would be a solid acquisition. Peralta has been good bat for both the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers during his career. Coming off of a season where he was implicated in the Biogenesis scandal, Peralta has been rumored to be seeking a three-year deal worth about 45 million dollars, as noted in a previous Rising Apple Article.
While he has given teams a strong bat and an average glove, that price for 32-year -old might not be the best decision. With his range continuing to diminish at short, this might not be the best fit for the Mets. While I think Peralta would be a good pickup, at that price it might not be in the best interest for the Mets.
If the Mets decide not to go after Peralta, that still leaves a hole a shortstop. Ruben Tejada is coming off of a broken leg, and the Mets are not high on him to begin with. Stephen Drew has been thrown around, and would also be a good move, but Alderson may be wary of him if signs a player like Curtis Granderson who received a qualify offer from the Yankees, as Drew did from the Red Sox-meaning the Mets would forfeit both their second and third round draft picks in the 2014 Draft.
There have been a plethora of trade ideas been thrown around, mostly surrounding either Davis and Duda. If a free agent shortstop isn’t signed by the Mets, or Drew and Peralta decide to go elsewhere, the team needs to look into the trade market. Out in the land of “Moneyball” in Oakland, there is shortstop Jed Lowrie who could be a good fit for the club.
Lowrie came up with the Red Sox in 2008, batting .258 in 81 games to go along with a .339 OBP. While Lowrie showed promise in his first year in the bigs, Lowrie had trouble staying on the field, and never played 100 games in a season up through 2012.With the Houston Astros in 2012, Lowrie displayed a little bit of his power at Minute Maid Park, as he cranked 16 homers and hit 18 doubles in his 97 games played.
The oft-injured Lowrie was shipped to the A’s prior to the 2013 season in package deal with Fernando Rodriguez. Although he had trouble staying on the field and playing consistently when he was on the field, the Salem, OR., native put together a strong season for Oakland. He had a line of .290/.344/.446, excellent numbers at the shortstop position.
While playing in the large expanses of the O.Co Colosseum, Lowrie still showed solid pop, hitting 15 homers, driving in 75 runs and totaling an impressive 45 doubles. The injury bug did not come to bite Lowrie in 2013, as he played in 154 games during the season and played in all five games of the ALDS against the Tigers. He posted a 2.3 WAR in 2013, pretty consistent with his 2.2 WAR.
While his bat is strong, his glove has either been average or below average, similar to Peralta. At shortstop this past season, Lowrie had a -6.8 UZR and also was in the negative in defensive runs saved, posting a -18 in 119 games at shortstop. In 24 games at the second base position Lowrie was a little better, having a -0.8 UZR with -2 defensive runs saved. While his glove was not top-notch, he was one of the reasons Oakland claimed its second-straight AL West title.
The A’s are noted for unloading some of their better players to get strong prospects in return, and Lowrie could fit this bill with one year left on his contract. While the Mets have the young guns in the farm system to deal, I’d be wary on dealing a top pitching prospect for Lowrie. If the Mets can work a deal where Duda or Davis can be shipped for Lowrie, I would be for it. It’s a tough call because Lowrie has not been someone consistently on the field, something the Mets know all too well about. With one year left on his deal, he might not be even someone the Mets could keep long-term. In the end, the priority should be to acquire a free agent shortstop, but if that does not work out, a guy like Lowrie can bring something to the table from the trade market.