Jed Lowrie will wear the “super-utility” label for the Mets, but he’s hardly a part-time player.
“I have been told that I will be a regular, and that is what I’m going into it thinking,” Lowrie said Wednesday at Citi Field.
Mostly a second baseman in recent seasons, the 34-year-old Lowrie, who arrived on a two-year contract worth $20 million, likely will see most of his action at third, but there are also plans to utilize him in the middle infield, as a backup to Robinson Cano and Amed Rosario.
First base could be an option, but general manager Brodie Van Wagenen indicated there is a good chance Todd Frazier will be shifted to that spot, at least to begin the season. The Mets also plan to give rookie slugger Peter Alonso a shot to win the job in spring training. J.D. Davis, acquired in a recent trade with the Astros, is another corner infield bat the Mets could consider. Jeff McNeil has largely been squeezed from the infield mix and may receive the majority of his playing time in the outfield.
Van Wagenen downplayed the idea the Mets would look to trade Frazier — his former CAA client — who is owed $9 million for next season.
“We made this signing with the intention Todd would be on our roster,” Van Wagenen said. “He’s a big part of who we want to be this year.”
Lowrie (another former CAA client of Van Wagenen’s) had been on the Mets’ radar since November. The idea was the switch-hitting infielder would provide the team with versatility and could stabilize the No. 2 hole in the batting order.
“I have played third in my career and that is something where I just need to continue to take reps,” Lowrie said.
Last season Lowrie had a .267/.353/.448 slash line with 23 homers and 99 RBIs for Oakland and was selected to the AL All-Star team. His connections with the Mets include Yoenis Cespedes, Jeurys Familia and hitting coach Chili Davis, all from his tenure with the Athletics.
“You look at [the Mets’] pitching and I don’t know that I have ever played behind pitching like that,” Lowrie said. “That’s exciting to me and there have been some great additions. It’s a lot of talented guys. I think [Van Wagenen] has added to an already talented group of players.”