The Winter Meetings came to an official end yesterday. Texas made a six-player deal with Tampa Bay. In the process, the Rangers got a new first baseman.
Nate Lowe is now a Ranger. Texas also gets minor league first baseman Jake Guenther, and a player to be named later.
The Rays get catcher Heriberto Hernandez, infielder Osleivis Basabe, and outfielder Alexander Ovalles.
Lowe should immediately move to the front of the line on the first base depth chart over Ronald Guzman, who has been given enough to time show what he can do. And that is he can play stellar defense but cannot hit.
Jon Daniels explained that he had been working on acquiring Lowe since last summer to address their glaring weakness at first.
Lowe is a twenty-five-year-old left-handed hitter who was drafted by the Rays in the thirteenth round in 2016. He hit for average and power on the minor leagues, batting .300 with 54 home runs and 264 RBIs in four minor league seasons.
In parts of two major league seasons, Lowe’s put up a .251 average, with a .322 on-base percentage and a .770 OPS.
By comparison, Guzman is a .230 hitter, with a .308 OBP, and a .725 OPS. But Guzman is virtually worthless against left-handed pitching, with a career .171 average.
Offensively, Lowe is an upgrade, with upside.
We don’t know what Lowe will turn into. We know what Guzman is.
The Rangers are better at first.