Jed Lowrie

MLB rumors: Former A's infielder Jed Lowrie, Mets agree to contract

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USATSI

MLB rumors: Former A's infielder Jed Lowrie, Mets agree to contract

When the A's acquired Jurickson Profar in a three-team deal with the Texas Rangers and The Tampa Bay Rays, it was assumed former second baseman Jed Lowrie would be going elsewhere.

Those assumptions have been confirmed.

As reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN, the 34-year-old infielder agreed to a two-year deal with the New York Mets. The deal is reportedly worth $20 million.

The veteran joins a roster that already possesses a second baseman ... or two. Veteran Robinson Cano was acquired by the Mets in December, and Jeff McNeil also burst on the scene at second base last season. 

While Lowrie is considered an everyday second baseman, he has spent a little time at the hot corner as well. And according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets plan on using him on an everyday basis, at various positions. Even, perhaps ... first base? That'd only happen if the club's No. 2 prospect, first base slugger Peter Alonso, isn't ready for the bigs.

Lowrie is coming off his first-ever All-Star season, where he hit .267/.353/.448 with 23 home runs and career-high 99 RBI.

Sources: A's close to moving on from free agent Jed Lowrie

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AP

Sources: A's close to moving on from free agent Jed Lowrie

LAS VEGAS -- It's looking less and less likely that All-Star second baseman Jed Lowrie will be back in Oakland next season.

According to multiple sources, the A's are close to moving on from the 34-year-old and heading in a different direction.

Lowrie slashed .267/.353/.448 with a career-high 23 home runs and 99 RBI last year. In 11 major league seasons, he has a slash line of .262/.335/.414.

Oakland has a few other options at second base. The A's have had talks with two-time All-Star DJ LeMahieu, according to a source. LeMahieu, 30, slashed .276/.321/.428 with 15 home runs, 32 doubles and 62 RBI last season with the Rockies.

The second base free agent market also includes Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier, Ian Kinsler, Asdrubal Cabrera and Logan Forsythe, among others.

Another option would be to give the everyday job to 22-year-old Franklin Barreto, who has impressed the team in winter ball this year in Venezuela. A's general manager David Forst confirmed that was a possibility.

The only major free agent second baseman to sign so far this offseason is Jonathan Schoop, who agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million contract with the Twins. Once the next free agent signs, the dominoes could quickly start to fall.

A's face three big questions entering 2018 MLB Winter Meetings

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AP

A's face three big questions entering 2018 MLB Winter Meetings

Historically, the MLB Winter Meetings have been where baseball's offseason activity really starts to pick up.

The A's figure to be pretty active these next few days, as they still have some work to do to fill out next year's roster.

Here's a look at the three biggest questions the A's must answer at the proceedings in Las Vegas:

1. Who will the A's add to fill out the starting rotation?

Starting pitching has to be the top priority for Oakland. After non-tendering Mike Fiers, the A's don't have a single starting pitcher from last year's end-of-season rotation under contract.

A's general manager David Forst addressed the situation Friday on a conference call: "There are a number of starting pitching options out there, both through free agency and trade conversations. ... We're dipping into free agency and trade conversations equally, so I think it will have to play out which route we go."

NBC Sports California has reported the A's have reached out to free agents Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill, Clay Buchholz and Shelby Miller. If they elect to pursue the trade route instead, Yankees right-hander (and former A) Sonny Gray and Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray could be good options.

We should start getting answers this week.

2. Will the A's sign a second baseman or start Franklin Barreto?

Jed Lowrie is coming off a terrific season, earning a trip to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. But his return to Oakland is far from certain.

Lowrie might cost more than the A's are willing to spend on a 34-year-old second baseman, especially with top prospect Franklin Barreto waiting in the wings.

"I think it could go a number of ways," Forst said. "There are conversations internally about Franklin and what is best for him going forward. I think we're going to explore adding a second baseman, letting Franklin play, finding a platoon partner for him -- all of those things are on the table."

The second baseman market officially got going Thursday when the Twins signed Jonathan Schoop to a one-year, $7.5 million contract. Expect more dominoes to fall this week.

3. Who will be the A's starting catcher?

The A's already have re-signed Josh Phegley, but they still need a starting catcher. Last year's starter, Jonathan Lucroy, still figures to be an option, along with a few other free agents.

"We're trying to balance the internal options with going to bring someone from the outside," Forst said. "There are also trade possibilities there. But we certainly still believe it's an area that we need to address one way or the other."

Highly regarded prospect Sean Murphy is in line to be the A's catcher of the future, but the 24-year-old still is likely a year away from being MLB-ready. Oakland needs a catcher to hold down the position until then.