Astros agree on one-year deal with Lowrie
Team avoids arbitration with all eligible players for 2012
HOUSTON -- The Astros on Wednesday agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.15 million contract with shortstop Jed Lowrie that includes bonuses and incentives. The Astros were able to avoid the arbitration process with all their eligible players and have everyone under contract for 2012.
Lowrie, acquired along with pitcher Kyle Weiland from the Red Sox in exchange for Mark Melancon in December, hit .252 with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 88 games for Boston last year. He played all four infield positions, starting 46 games at shortstop and 29 at third base.
Lowrie, who had asked for $1.5 million and was offered $900,000 by the Astros, will make his first public appearance with the Astros on Thursday in Northwest Houston as part of the team's winter CAREavan.
"Jed is looking forward to attending the Astros Caravan [Thursday], especially having resolved his contractual status and avoiding an arbitration hearing," said agent Brodie Van Wagenen, co-head of CAA Baseball. "In the end, concessions were made by both parties that allowed a deal to be reached amicably. Jed is in the best shape of his life, ready for Spring Training and excited about suiting up for the Astros, and his relationship with the organization is off to a good start."
Lowrie has played in parts of four Major League seasons with the Red Sox (2008-11), appearing primarily as a shortstop, including 130 starts at the position. He is a career .252 hitter with 19 home runs and 117 RBIs. He was drafted by Boston in the first round in 2005.
"The biggest issue with Jed is the amount of time he's on the field as opposed to the training room and the DL, but there's nothing about his skill set that would suggest he can't play an everyday role if he's healthy," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "That's one of the reasons we traded for him, and that's our expectation and hope."
Lowrie will take over at shortstop for Clint Barmes, who was not re-signed by Houston after a year with the team.