In discussing the possibility of hitting the free agent market this winter, before the Oakland A's did, in fact, decline to give him a 1-year/$15.3M qualifying offer, 30-year-old infielder Jed Lowrie told MLB.com's Jane Lee that he, "wouldn't rule out an opportunity at second base on the premise it was on a full-time basis."
"'I'm not going to go into the offseason saying I'm only going to play shortstop," Lowrie told the reporter, "'but what I do want is the chance to play the same position, whether that's shortstop or whether that's second base. Flip-flopping back and forth, that just doesn't interest me at all. I'd like to be able to play one position.'"
In spite of the fact that the A's don't have a major league-ready shortstop lined up to take over in 2015 inside in the organization, they decided against extending a qualifying offer to Lowrie, so there is no draft pick compensation tied to the infielder who is expected to get a multi-year deal this winter.
As San Francisco Chronicle writer Susan Slusser suggested in an article last month, with limited options among infielders on the free agent market this winter, Lowrie, (like fellow free agent middle infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, who didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Nationals after Washington acquired him from Cleveland in July) is likely to get something in the range of a 3-4-year/$30-40M deal.
If the Nationals are going to hand out a multi-year deal for an infielder, are they more likely to give it to Cabrera, who fit in well in the final two months-plus in the nation's capital?
"'He had a great half a season for us,'" Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore, as quoted in an article on the Nationals' search for a second baseman last week.
"'He was a great teammate. He’s a professional player. He plays good defense. He’s a guy we had a great feel for. We know that specific player very well.'"
Nationals 2b Search: Domestic Free Agents http://t.co/4OkUQ2KfJi— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) October 28, 2014
The WaPost Nats beat reporter threw Lowrie's name out there as a potential target while also mentioning Stephen Drew, some of the Cuban free-agents-to-be and trade targets like the New York Mets' Daniel Murphy and the Los Angeles Angels' Howie Kendrick while exploring all the possibilities the Nationals could entertain this winter, though he wrote that Lowrie, "... may be the best free agent fit for the Nationals."
Lowrie, an '05 1st Round pick by the Red Sox, is coming off a down year as he hits free agency, however, having put up a .249/.321/.355 line with 29 doubles, three triples and six home runs in 136 games and 566 plate appearances over which he was worth +1.9 fWAR.
In 2013, however, in his first year with the A's, Lowrie posted a .290/.344/.446 line with 45 doubles, two triples and 15 HRs in 154 games and 604 PAs, finishing his sixth MLB season at a career-high +3.5 fWAR.
This morning, Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo too mentioned Lowrie as a potential target for the Nationals.
"Lowrie could be interesting at second base for the Nationals or Yankees," Cafardo wrote, with the Nats, "... looking for an upgrade over Danny Espinosa."
"Lowrie, 30, is best suited for second or third at this stage of his career," Cafardo writes, echoing what others have written about where the infielder's future lies in the infield.
Does Lowrie, on a multi-year deal, make sense for the Nationals? Would you rather see the Nats give Asdrubal Cabrera a multi-year contract? Does a one-year "pillow contract" for Stephen Drew make more sense?
Are you one of those Nationals fans who think they just need to find a platoon partner for Espinosa?
About the second base options coming out of Cuba this winter...
Washington Post writer James Wagner wrote last week that the Nationals have, "kept an eye on the current group of players," coming out of Cuba with 26-year-old Jose Fernandez and 19-year-old Yoan Moncada the two they have, "been most interested in."
Nats have been keeping an eye on Cuban free agents. Two scouts will be at infielder Yoan Moncada's workout next week. http://t.co/Fa4rqGCj7V— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) November 5, 2014
In an interview with MLB.com's Bill Ladson last week, the Nationals' General Manger said that the Nats were, "in the process of analyzing the club," and trying, "to figure out what can we do to make ourselves better, a more complete team," before they head to the GM Meetings in Phoenix, AZ, which begin tomorrow.