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The latest Lowrie free-agent rumors

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Jed Lowrie was a major part of the A's 2018 success, producing a career-high 23 homers, 99 RBIs and 4.9 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs. After that strong showing, the 34-year-old enters the free-agent market looking for a new deal.

Below you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the infielder.

Jed Lowrie was a major part of the A's 2018 success, producing a career-high 23 homers, 99 RBIs and 4.9 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs. After that strong showing, the 34-year-old enters the free-agent market looking for a new deal.

Below you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the infielder.

Brewers considering Lowrie, Murphy
Dec. 15: Although the Brewers' top prospect, second baseman Keston Hiura (No. 30 overall, per MLB Pipeline), may soon be ready to make an impact in the Majors, Milwaukee is showing interest in both Daniel Murphy and Jed Lowrie, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required).

While the Brewers have an immediate opening at second base after non-tendering Jonathan Schoop, signing Lowrie or Murphy would likely mean blocking Hiura's path for multiple seasons, as both free agents are expected to command multi-year deals.

As Rosenthal notes, general manager David Stearns has a familiarity with Lowrie, having been part of the Astros front office when the infielder was with the club in 2015.

2B market is starting to move
Dec. 14: Second base is one of the more well-stocked positions in free agency this offseason, but it seems to be starting to roll at long last.

Ian Kinsler and the Padres agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal (with a team option for 2021) on Friday afternoon, sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. He's expected to provide some stability and depth in the infield, while San Diego allows youngsters Fernando Tatis and Jr. Luis Urias -- MLB Pipeline's Nos. 2 and 27 overall prospects, respectively -- to break into the bigs at a comfortable pace.

Tweet from @AJCassavell: Friars view Kinsler as a veteran option who can play multiple spots. If and when Tatis arrives this season, it seems like Urias at 2B, Tatis at SS and Kinsler at 3B is the likeliest option.

Meanwhile, the Cubs and Cardinals are pursuing another veteran in Daniel Descalso -- a versatile infielder who saw most of his action at the keystone with the D-backs the past two years and is coming off a career campaign in 2018 -- according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal and USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #Cubs in strong pursuit of free-agent infielder Daniel Descalso, sources tell The Athletic.

Tweet from @BNightengale: Daniel Descalso indeed the #Cubs first choice as a super utility player but they just don���t know whether they can afford him in their budget with Descalso also on #Stlcards radar. https://t.co/xRhm6FXK78

This comes on the heels of the Twins recently landing Jonathan Schoop as a bounceback candidate to handle second base in Minnesota.

A number of quality starting players at the position remain on the open market, including Jed Lowrie, DJ LeMahieu, Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier and Asdrubal Cabrera. With action starting to happen here, it's possible some of the bigger names soon will look to lock in their own deals to avoid falling behind in a plentiful market where the supply appears to outweigh the demand.

A's, Rangers talking Profar trade
Dec. 12: Faced with the prospect of losing second baseman Jed Lowrie in free agency, the A's are exploring Jurickson Profar as a trade option. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday that Oakland is among the clubs talking to the Rangers about a potential deal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #Athletics among clubs talking to #Rangers about a trade for infielder Jurickson Profar, sources tell The Athletic. Profar could play second base for A���s if they lose Jed Lowrie in free agency. Franklin Barreto remains an internal possibility.

The 25-year-old Profar played the first full season of his career with the Rangers in 2018. He was solid at the plate, hitting .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs and 77 RBIs in 146 games. Profar also is very versatile defensively -- he can play any infield position, and even the outfield. Second base just happens to be where the A's would need him.

The A's don't necessarily have to go out and find an external replacement for Lowrie, though. Rosenthal notes that they could also opt for Franklin Barreto as a solution from within the organization. The 22-year-old Barreto was ranked the A's top prospect in 2017 (no longer considered a prospect). He hit .233 with five home runs in 32 games for Oakland this season.

How Troy Tulowitzki becoming a free agent could affect Lowrie
Dec. 11: Tulowitzki becoming a free agent after being released by the Blue Jays on Tuesday could potentially affect the market for Lowrie. After all, there is now one more free agent in the middle-infield market. 

More explicitly, however, would be Lowrie's fit with his former club should it pursue Tulowitkzi. And as Martin Gallegos of the San Jose Mercury News speculates, a union between the A's and Tulowitzki appears to be one of the most logical for the 34-year-old. Tulowitzki grew up in the Bay Area, rooted for the A's as a kid and the club has a positional need within its infield after Lowrie departed via free agency. Most signs, as Gallegos indicated, allude that Oakland will not bring Lowrie back. And for a cost-minded club that has played on a small-market budget and consistently sought to maximize the dollar value of its players, the A's might make a lot of sense for Tulowitzki.

Tulowitzki has a well-chronicled injury history, and even when healthy, he has struggled to return to the elite form he exhibited during his 10 seasons with the Rockies. Still, if Tulowitzki could be had for the right price, the veteran shortstop might offer as much upside as any shortstop on the free-agent market. 

The five-time All-Star will receive $38 million from Toronto as part of the final two years of his contract. Given that he missed the entire 2018 season with a heel injury and was limited to just 66 games in '17 due to an ankle injury, Tulowitzki doesn't necessarily have significant leverage to warrant another multi-year, high-paying contract. Gallegos speculates that the A's could potentially sign Tulowitzki for the league minimum of $600,000.

It would certainly be a risk, but if Tulowitzki could return to some form of his old self, it could be one worth taking. 

Are A's preparing to move on from Lowrie?
Dec. 10: While the A's have indicated they would be open to a reunion with Jed Lowrie, the club also appears to be making plans in the event that Lowrie signs elsewhere this offseason.

Oakland has expressed interest in fellow free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

General manager David Forst recently suggested that the A's are exploring a number of different options at second base, one of which is handing the position over to youngster Franklin Barreto. "There are conversations internally about Franklin and what is best for him going forward, but I think we're going to explore adding a second baseman, letting Franklin play, finding a platoon partner for him," Forst said, per a tweet from MLB.com's Jane Lee. "All those things are on the table."

Tweet from @JaneMLB: Regarding second base, Forst says, "There are conversations internally about Franklin and what is best for him going forward, but I think we���re going to explore adding a second baseman, letting Franklin play, finding a platoon partner for him. All those things are on the table."

LeMahieu, like Barreto, is a right-handed hitter, meaning he might not be an ideal candidate to platoon with Barreto, as Slusser pointed out the 30-year-old hit .330 against lefties in 2018 but only .249 versus right-handed pitchers. Barreto, 22, is a lifetime .215/.252/.424 hitter in the Majors, though he has tallied only 151 plate appearances. Over six Minor League seasons, the former top prospect slashed .288/.348/.470.

Lowrie is coming off arguably the best season of his career, hitting .267/.353/.448 with a personal-best 23 homers and 99 RBIs in 2018. The 34-year-old has racked up 8.5 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) over the past two years, per FanGraphs, ranking 26th among all Major Leaguers in that span -- slightly ahead of fellow free agent Bryce Harper (8.3 WAR).

Given that production, there's a chance Lowrie will be out of the A's price range, especially if he's seeking a multi-year deal, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported. The second-base market is deep, however, which could put a lid on his asking price and make him affordable enough for Oakland.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: The second base market could start moving now. Twins were talking with D.J. LeMahieu and Jed Lowrie, among others, according to sources. LeMahieu and Lowrie each are seeking multiyear deals. https://t.co/EZEOeXLm6k

Jed Lowrie