The Houston Astros have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with shortstop Jed Lowrie, right-handed pitcher Bud Norris and left-handed reliever Wesley Wright, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed. Lowrie, Norris and Wright were the three remaining, unsigned Astros players eligible for salary arbitration in 2013. Today was the Major League Baseball deadline for players and clubs to exchange arbitration salary figures.
In his first season with Houston, Lowrie hit .244 in 2012 with 18 doubles, 16 home runs and 42 RBI in just 97 games after being slowed by a mid-season leg injury. Lowrie's 16 home runs ranked third among NL shortstops and were the second-highest single-season total by a shortstop in franchise history. Additionally, Lowrie's .980 fielding pct. was tops among NL shortstops in 2012 (min. 90g). He ended the season with a 32-game errorless streak.
Norris, 27, led the club in strikeouts in 2012 with 165 in 168.2 innings of work as a starter. Norris was effective at Minute Maid Park, leading the National League and ranking second in the Majors in home ERA with a 1.71 mark (14ER/73.2IP) while posting a 4-1 record at Minute Maid Park. Norris ended the 2012 season by tossing 13.1 consecutive scoreless innings against the Cardinals (Sept. 26) and Cubs (Oct. 2) in his final two starts. In his career, Norris has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning with 553 punchouts in 563.2 innings pitched.
Wright, 27, was 2-2 with a 3.27 ERA and a save in a career-high 77 appearances out of the bullpen in 2012. His 77 appearances were tied for second in the NL among southpaws. Over the last two seasons, Wright has been one of most effective relievers in the Majors vs. left-handed hitters, holding them to a .170 (25x147) batting average in that span. Additionally, he tallied 54 strikeouts in 52.1 innings in 2012 and has 198 strikeouts in 197.2 career innings in the Major Leagues.
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