Jed Lowrie is off the market — not that there appeared to be much interest there from the Jays anyway, apart from speculation (or at least not that we heard of). Brian McTaggart had it first, while Evan Drellich tweets that it’s a $23-million deal for three years, which could go up to $28-million on a fourth. Pretty alright in terms of average annual value, but I don’t know how much I’d have wanted to go that many years with him. Likely a moot point anyway, as the Astros have reportedly signed him to be their shortstop — which he wanted — which may have meant the Jays and their offering of a second base spot wouldn’t have been seriously considered. (He also apparently lives in Houston, and the Astros had the whole no-state-income-tax thing working for them, too).
Lowrie could work out well for Houston and we might regret the Jays’ apparent lack of interest here, but I’m just not so sure: he’s had a tough time staying on the field, didn’t hit much in 2014, had a BABIP-driven good year at the plate in 2013, and without the BABIP was good in 2012, but with an ISO nearly double of what it was this year (though Oakland’s park surely factored into that). You could have talked me into it, too, I suppose, especially on a shorter-term deal. There are things to like there. It’s just… meh.
Gregor Chisholm tweets that his understanding is that the Jays didn’t feel Lowrie was a viable second base solution, so that this really doesn’t change anything.
Dan Johnson, who crushed at Buffalo last year and certainly wouldn’t have been a bad piece of left-hand hitting depth for the Blue Jays, has signed a minor league deal with the Astros, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Jeff Blair looks at Melky Cabrera’s signing with the White Sox, suggesting that it was the Jays’ signing of Russell Martin that signalled the end of Melky’s tenure here, thought the club was still in contact with him at least until they dealt for Michael Saunders.
Speaking of Melky, Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs looks at what to expect from him going forward, and tries to make sense of how to handle his tumour-laden 2013 season — which, if not considered at all (as might entirely be fair, given, y’know, the tumour), makes the projection on him substantially better. There’s really nothing wrong with being upset that the Jays missed here.
The draft pick was surely part of the club’s calculation, and though the Jays and Melky aren’t singled out specifically, there was an interesting discussion on Monday’s Effectively Wild podcast at Baseball Prospectus on how draft picks are valued by clubs, with respect to the compensation process, and how they may actually be overvalued.
Taking a different view on the Melky deal than the bullish-seeming Sullivan is Keith Law, who at ESPN.com writes that Cabrera “has had only two seasons in which he performed at the level this deal seems to assume, the second of which, 2012, was cut short by a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test — and both of which featured abnormally high batting averages on balls in play.” There are pluses that he points out, he just thinks it’s too much money.
Back to FanGraphs has published the ZiPS projections for the Oakland A’s, which comes with a list of the number one comp for each player. Brett Lawrie’s? Arquimedez Ponzo.
Laugh at the comp all you want, but Lawrie might actually be awesome. Kaitlyn McGrath of the National Post fills us in on how he surprised a young fan whose emotional reaction to his being traded went viral. Kind of amazing.