The Winter Meetings may be over, but the Astros are not done dealing. Today, the Astros announced they have reached an agreement with former Athletics infielder Jed Lowrie. The deal is threee-year, $23 million with a club option for a four year and a total of $28 million, as reported by the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich.
Lowrie spent the last two season with the Athletics. Last year, posting a .249/.321/.676 line with 50 RBIs, 93 WRC+, and 1.8 WAR. Lowrie started 129 games last season at shortstop for the A's and hit .271/.334/.405 in his career in Oakland.
It's a return to Houston for the 31-year-old infielder. Lowrie hit .244/.331/.438 in Houston in 2012 before his season ended prematurely thanks to a leg injury. He was acquired from Boston, along with oft-stranded pitcher Kyle Weiland, for then-closer Mark Melancon.
Houston traded Lowrie to Oakland in February of 2013 for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock and Max Stassi.
Lowrie is set to play shortstop for the Astros next season, but indicated a willingness to switch positions during the life of the contract. When his interest in Lowrie previously was mentioned, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow indicated that the versatile stopgap could come in handy, because third baseman Colin Moran could be ready before shortstop Carlos Correa, or vice versa.
Lowrie maintained a home in Houston and appears to have picked the Astros over a crowded field of suitors. He is also the third free agent Houston has signed in the last week, following relievers Pat Neshek and Luke Gregerson.
Of course, Lowrie made waves with the Astros last season when he got into a tiff with then-manager Bo Porter. Porter went out on the field, yelling at Lowrie and the incident also involved pitcher Paul Clemens. Tellingly, neither Porter nor Clemens are with the Astros that Lowrie is set to join.