Giants lock up Lowry for 4 years

With the team on the verge of rebuilding, the Giants made sure that one more piece of the foundation was locked up. Reportedly, the Giants have agreed to a 4 year deal with an option for a fifth year, a deal that could carry Lowry through to his free agency eligibility.

According to ESPN, the San Francisco Giants and pitcher Noah Lowry have agreed to a four year, $9 million contract.  The deal also reportedly includes an option for a 5th year that will increase the value of the contract to about $17 million.

Lowry, 25, pitched his first full-season in 2005, overcoming early struggles to reach a 13-13 record with a 3.78 ERA.  He was spectacular after the All-Star break in 2005, going 8-4 in 15 starts and collecting a 2.43 ERA.  He was named the National League pitcher of the Month for August.  He proved himself to be durable, leading the wins, innings, ERA and strikeouts.  He was also the only Giants pitcher in 2005 not to miss a start.

Since debuting mid-season in 2004, Lowry is 19-13 with a 3.71 ERA.

The deal, if the 5th year option is taken, will carry Lowry through until he is eligible to become a free agent after the 2010 season.  The deal seems to indicate that the Giants, who have traded several highly-touted pitching prospects in past years like Kurt Ainsworth, Jesse Foppert, and Jerome Williams, plan to keep Noah Lowry as part of the team’s foundation as the Giants face an unprecedented amount of turnover.  After the 2006 season, the Giants have 7 players, including 2 members of the rotation, eligible for free agency, and an option on another player.

Until the Giants signed pitcher Matt Morris through 2008 with an option for 2009 during the offseason, the Giants had no players signed past 2007.  Later in the offseason, the Giants signed outfielder Randy Winn to a 3 year extension that will keep him signed through 2009.  Lowry will be the 3rd player signed to a contract past 2007.

Lowry is penciled in as the Giants #3 starter this season, behind Jason Schmidt and Matt Morris.  He will also be joined by rookie Matt Cain and Jamey Wright in the rotation.  The news of this contract comes hours before Lowry is due to take the mound at AT&T Park to face the A’s in an exhibition game on March 31.

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