The Pirates Should Trade for Jed Lowrie

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 09: Jed Lowrie
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 09: Jed Lowrie /

As the July 31st trade deadline approaches a player that the Pittsburgh Pirates should be pursuing is utility man Jed Lowrie

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in an odd spot in terms of the July 31st trade deadline. At 7 games out of first place in the National League Central, they are, in theory, still in contention. However, unless they take at least 3 of 4 from the first place Brewers this week that goes out the window.

Even if they drop out of contention, it would not benefit the Pirates to be sellers in the conventional sense. The team has a strong enough core that is controlled past this season to be able to compete next year. Due to this, if they fall out of contention they should look to move free agents to be such as John Jaso, Juan Nicasio, and Tony Watson, while they look to add players controlled past this season.

One player that is controlled past this season that is available on the trade market is Jed Lowrie. The utility man plays for the Oakland Athletics who are ready to start selling pieces off. Lowries is under contract for next season and is owed just 6 million dollars.

Jed Lowrie brings the ability to play third base, second base, and shortstop. He could be the strong utility infielder the Pirates have been looking for all season. Lowrie would most certainly be an upgrade over players such as Gift Ngoepe, Max Moroff, and Phil Gosselin.

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What makes Jed Lowrie most appealing is his offense. In 369 plate appearances this season he owns an 8.7 percent walk rate, .183 ISO, .339 wOBA, and an 115 wRC+. He has hit 10 home runs, has a .339 on-base percentage, is slugging .455, and he has an fWAR of 2.0.

2017 has been a strong bounce-back season from Lowrie after down seasons in 2015 and 2016. After posting a wRC+ of 144 in 2010, 110 in 2012, and 120 in 2013, he dipped to just 95, 94, and 77 the past three seasons. However, the switch-hitting Lowrie appears to have found his swing once again.

Jed Lowrie’s lifetime stats are that of a slightly above average hitter. He owns a 9.0 percent walk rate, 16.6 percent strikeout rate, .146 ISO, .328 on-base percentage, .320 wOBA, and a 101 wRC+ in his career. Even if Lowrie would give the Pirates this type of production, that paired with his ability to play multiple positions would improve the Pirate bench immensely for the rest of 2017 as well as in 2018.

Next: Pirates set to Begin the Season's Most Important Series

As the trade deadline approaches, the Pirates need to look to improve the team for next season while moving players on expiring contracts. One player that would fit the mold of helping the team next season is utility infielder Jed Lowrie. Lowries is a player that Neal Huntington needs to give Billy Beane a phone call about.