Jed Lowrie has been a pleasant surprise since coming over from the Boston Red Sox in an offseason trade before the 2012 season. He has been the second-best bat behind Jose Altuve and has been one of the top hitting shortstops in the National League.
However, the Astros have completely fallen apart since May 25th when they were 22-23. Since that day they have lost 30 of their past 41 games, and they currently have the worst record in Major League Baseball.
For the third year in a row, the Astros will be having a fire sale at the deadline, but Jed Lowrie shouldn't be one of the players they trade. These are the top six reasons why.
Jed Lowrie is only 28 years old, and I personally believe he has not reached his peak. It would be smart for the Astros to hold onto him this year and give him a full year to demonstrate what he is capable of before offering him in trades.
It doesn't make much sense to trade a player who has not reached his full potential yet when he could have a higher asking price next year for the Astros.
Jed Lowrie is only making $1.15 million this year, which is very reasonable for a shortstop who already has 14 home runs.
Lowrie is eligible for arbitration next year, but the Astros could make a strong case to keep his salary within reason due to his injury history and lackluster performance before this season.
Even if they see his salary double, $2.5 million would not be unreasonable for Lowrie.
Jed Lowrie can't become a free agent until after the 2014 season, so why rush and trade him now? The Astros did not give up a whole lot to get him by giving Boston Mark Melancon, who has done nothing of note this year.
If Lowrie does regress and ends up seeing his stats drop or gets injured again, it won't be a huge loss. The team has built a solid farm system the past few seasons, and Lowrie won't bring much in return until he proves he can stay healthy.
The Astros drafted what they hope to be their starting shortstop for 10-15 years when they selected Carlos Correa with the first overall pick in June.
However, he is not ready for the show, nor is any other prospect in the Astros system right now.
It would make sense to move Lowrie if the team had a top prospect in Triple-A tearing it up, but they don't. Lowrie could be a great player to hold down the position as they take time to groom their young shortstops. Not rushing a prospect through the system is a luxury the Astros have not had in years past.
Jed Lowrie is having a great year at the plate, and no one can argue that. However, if the Astros expect to get the level of talent like they did in the Hunter Pence trade, Lowrie has more to prove.
Pence had three years of 25 home runs and had demonstrated he could play at a consistent level over an extended period of time.
Houston needs to give Lowrie this same opportunity to demonstrate he is not a one-hit wonder, and then they can demand more in a trade in future years.
I think Jeff Luhnow should win Executive of the Year for actually finding a trading partner willing to take Carlos Lee and getting a decent return for him. However, the team has a number of other pieces who would bring more in return than Lowrie this season.
The top two players the Astros should be looking to move are pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. Both are veteran players on the downside of their career who are playing at a high level this season and would bring more back in terms of talent.
The Astros would be selling themselves short if they moved Lowrie now before he has played a full season or two at this level.