The Astros sign Jed Lowrie for three years and $23 million

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Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that the Astros have agreed to terms on a three-year contract with free agent infielder Jed Lowrie. The deal is worth $23 million. There is a club option for 2018 at $5 million as well.

Lowrie played in Houston in 2012, hitting .244 with 16 homers and a .769 OPS in 97 games. He played for Oakland the past two years, hitting .271/.334/.405 as a full-timer.

He should be a full-timer in Houston, too, at least until Carlos Correa is ready to take over the position. At which point Lowrie could play second or third or wherever.

White Sox, Rockies, “frontrunners” for Yasiel Puig

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Yasiel Puig, unexpectedly, remained unemployed for the entire offseason. But now, a week or so into spring training, it’s appearing as though he may soon have a job. That’s the word from Hector Gomez of Z101, who reports that the Rockies and White Sox have emerged as “frontrunners” to sign the guy.

Puig hit a .252/.302/.475 (92 OPS+) for the Reds before being traded to the Indians. Once in Cleveland his performance improved, however, as he hit .297/.377/.423 (109 OPS+). Definitely a down year overall, and a far cry from the sort of superstar performance he showcased when he first broke into the league, but he’s just 29 and still profiles as an above average big league outfielder, on defense and at the plate.

He’d certainly benefit from playing in the thin air of Colorado. He’d also look pretty spiffy in the White Sox’ lineup, though he’d likely have to assume a platoon role there. Which, given that he as better in that role toward the end of his tenure in Los Angeles, would not be the worst idea. He didn’t like it all that much, but at the moment, he needs to find a job.

Anyway, look for Puig to be off the market soon.