The Jed Lowrie contract is already classified as a bad one, but now the New York Mets are facing the notion that this is one of their worst contracts ever doled out.
On Monday night, the Mets announced that Lowrie, who only had eight plate appearances last season due to injury, was placed on the 10-day injured list because of left-knee discomfort.
The plan, for now, is that the 36-year-old will visit a doctor later this week where the team is expected to gain a little more intel.
Lowrie signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets before the start of the 2019 season with the expectation that he would be the team’s starting third baseman.
Initially, the deal seemed like a reasonably-priced steal after Lowrie had a 2018 All-Star season with the Oakland Athletics that saw him slash .267/.353/.448 with a career-best 23 home runs and 99 RBI.
But before Lowrie could even get a Mets uniform on and play with the team, he revealed discomfort in that left knee that held him out for most of spring training.
An additional hamstring injury kept him sidelined through July of last season before a right calf injury landed him on the 60-day injured list. He didn’t make his limited Mets debut until September.
His mysterious injury issues somehow have not been resolved in the nine months since the end of last season, an offseason that was extended by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lowrie was present at Citi Field for Mets summer camp, but the sizable leg brace on his left leg was a major talking point, which created a fair share of puzzlement when manager Luis Rojas said the veteran was a “full go” earlier this month.
It became increasingly clear that Lowrie would not be ready for the start of the Mets’ 60-game 2020 season, beginning Friday, when he could not run at full speed.
“He’s worked really hard,” Rojas told reporters over Zoom. “He and I have had different conversations about how hard he’s worked in his progression course. We saw his bat. We saw his ability, his hands, his arms, they’re all in shape. It’s just the running part, and also parts of his defense — moving around and the range to make some plays — that was the part that we just couldn’t translate our vision into playing games.”
With surgery possibly still on the table, there is a chance that his Mets career will have lasted all but those eight plate appearances, meaning the club will have paid Lowrie $2.5 million per plate appearance.
Talk about highway robbery.