Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quick Hit: Jed Lowrie the Backup Plan for Chase Headley

The New York Yankees seem to be posturing and negotiating hard for Chase Headley because the team presumably feels like they need him for the 2015 season. While I would agree there because of his stellar defense, his switch hitting bat and his ability to play first base I don't think I would break the bank for Chase, pun intended. Not as long as Jed Lowrie, a viable third base, shortstop and second baseman, is available on the free agent market.

The team is already talking about platooning Brendan Ryan and Didi Gregorius and I ask, why? If you bring in Jed Lowrie he can play shortstop against left handed pitchers with Martin Prado playing third base while Didi sits on the bench. Against right handed pitching Lowrie would be back at third with Prado at second and Didi at shortstop. New York has also said they don't want to go above three years for Headley and that is conveniently the same number of years that Mr. Lowrie is said to be asking for in the market right now.

If you look at the stats Lowrie is comparable in about every offensive stat in his career with Headley except for in the home run department, although Lowrie has hit 52. If you take away that career year from Headley while still with the Padres and you have an exact match of players here only one is a lot more expensive than the other.

(statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference)

Lowrie wants a reported three year deal worth 3 years and $30 million while the asking price for Headley seems to sit at 4 years and anywhere from $48 - $65 million. For the same player. This doesn't even seem to be a question to me, fiscal responsibility or not, sign Lowrie. Sure Lowrie has a not so nice injury history, see Headley's back if that's your argument for the incumbent Yankees third baseman, but splitting time with the aforementioned players and Joe Girardi's uncanny insistence on giving "players a day" I think Lowrie would be just fine. They are both 30 years old and if human cloning were possible or legal I would think they were the same player. Save a year on the contract, around $20 million or more and bring the team even more flexibility and even more options for Girardi in the infield. Lowrie can learn first base, get it done.  

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