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Athletics acquire Jed Lowrie from Astros in five-player deal

Feb 4, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT

Jed Lowrie AP

The Athletics have just strengthened their infield, acquiring Jed Lowrie from the Astros in a five-player trade. Lowrie will head to Oakland along with right-hander Fernando Rodriguez while first baseman Chris Carter, right-hander Brad Peacock and catching prospect Max Stassi are being sent to Houston.

Lowrie has shown considerable potential at times, but he has struggled to stay healthy during his career. The 28-year-old hit .244/.331/.438 with 16 home runs, 42 RBI and a .769 OPS last season, but he was limited to 97 games due to knee and ankle injuries. He exclusively played shortstop last season, but also has experience at second base and third base. The A’s signed Hiroyuki Nakajima over the winter to play shortstop, so it’s unclear where Lowrie will fit in.

While the A’s acquired Lowrie with the idea of winning now, the Astros were focused on extracting value from a player who didn’t figure to be around when the team is ready to contend. And they did pretty well here. Carter had 16 homers and an .864 OPS in 260 plate appearances with the A’s last season and could be used at either first base or DH for Houston. Peacock is coming off a disappointing season in which he posted a 6.01 ERA with Triple-A Sacramento, but he’s just a year removed from being a featured piece of the Gio Gonzalez trade. Stassi, who turns 22 in March, returned from an injury-plagued 2011 to deliver 15 homers and a .799 OPS last season with High-A Stockton.

For more on the trade, below is a phone interview Steve Bunin of conducted with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow:

  1. butchhuskey - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    I’m surprised the A’s would trade Carter because he was a good platoon partner with Brandon Moss. At the same time, this move gives the A’s insurance if Nakijima is a bust.

  2. senioreditor2 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Man are the Astros going to be bad again!

  3. tfbuckfutter - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    “The Athletics have just strengthened their infield,”

    ….for at least half the season…..maybe.

    • paperlions - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Not sure why anyone would disagree. Lowrie hasn’t been able to make it through a full season in years, he’ll be 29 in a couple of months….his only value is related to the complete disaster that is the ML SS position these days.

      • tfbuckfutter - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        Maybe they thought I meant half the season….in a row.

  4. blockedprospect - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Pretty great day for Jeff Luhnow’s bona fides. Klaw’s org rankings came out today w/ STL #1 (all based on talent Luhnow signed/drafted while running their player development). Plus this trade. So basically in 13 months, Luhnow converted Mark Melancon (who immediately turned into a whoopie cushion post-trade) into Chris Carter (16 HR in 218 AB last yr!), a solid SP prospect & a solid C prospect. Impressive.

  5. thebadguyswon - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Houston is on the right track longterm, but man are they going to be awful this year.

  6. thekingdave - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    That’s the point. Shooting for a 3rd straight #1 overall pick. He would have been dealt last July if he had been healthy.

  7. koufaxmitzvah - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    I’m sure grades 3-9 were difficult for Peacock.

    • dondada10 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Eh. He turned out to be a pro athlete. I’m sure he was one of the bigger, stronger kids in the school.

  8. Caught Looking - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Is Billy Beane part of some contest to collect former Red Sox prospects?

  9. kelshannon19 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Hey have fun with Mr. 1-11 F-Rot. Thig guy causes nothing but misery

  10. jeffa43 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    #1 Astro fan here…. Keep stocking up on prospects, it is the best approach at this point. Ya we are going to get our but kicked for a while…. Just enjoy the prospects maturing…. Remeber the 91 stros? Keep the faith.

    Bright side …. uniforms.

    Down side…. and I speak for all Astro fans here. Deshais was so fun to listen to even in the face of continuous defeat. I always thought he was one of the best in the game…. It was nice to hear other fans of other teams agree with that….. Front office screwed that one up.

    Go Stros…. We will compete in 2014, or 2015….. to haters, I just said compete…. did not say win a lot.

    • kelshannon19 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Im with ya bro. HUGE Astros fan. Hope theres more people like you and I out there who keep the faith.

      • stex52 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        I’m going to close my eyes, make a wish, and wait for the 2013 season to go away. Possible bright spots:

        1. They get the number 1 pick, with which they don’t take Appel.
        2. We see if Lyles or Norris is actually a keeper. I still think Harrell is a filler, but maybe he has some more left in him.
        3. Maybe Singleton comes in after the All Star Break.
        4. Fish or cut bait for Wallace. Maybe that kid from the Marlins can be for real. Fish or cut bait for Castro.
        5. Maybe there is some outfielder in the minors who can hit for .700 OPS.
        6. And another #1 pick in 2014, with which they still don’t take Appel.

        That’s about it. Illegitimi non carborundum est.

      • jeffa43 - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:52 PM

        Thanks. You and I and few others out there will appreciate it more when we win in the future.
        These bad times will really make us appreciate the good times.

    • paint771 - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      Bright side …. uniforms.

      I appreciate the spirit in which this comment was made – really, I do – and I like this trade for the Astros to boot.

      But man oh man, I’m glad those words have never come out of my mouth in evaluating my team’s upcoming season.

      Keep your chin up Houston.

      • jeffa43 - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:09 PM

        Thanks… Trust me it hurts. But I promised God, remove Ed wade and I will never complain again.

    • stex52 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Deshaies deal made me so mad I really almost cut the cord. I’m still on the fence about this whole management team.

      • jeffa43 - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        Stex… We are going to be reminded of Deshais every day.
        We will be asking why for a long time.
        As far as management…. All we can do is hope.

        And you can’t bail on us… There is only me you and a couple others on here.

  11. jeffa43 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    PS… see ya F ROD !…. would have been happy with chalk, and quick dry in return.

  12. proudlycanadian - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Let me tell you a story about a man named Jed. A poor baseball player, but he kept his family fed.

  13. byjiminy - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Great trade for the Astro’s, and I’m normally a Beane fan. Which is not to say it won’t work out for both teams, but those are three potential starters for one rickety shortstop (and a pitcher). I’m not saying either team won or lost; just that this is a big step in the right direction toward competing down the line; well done. If even one of the three pans out, that’s five years of cheap production when it could really do some good.

  14. rabbi187 - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Jeffa, what’s the deal with JD? I heard he is going to the Cubs but don’t know exactly why/what happened. They just throw a stupid amount of cash at him?

    • stex52 - Feb 5, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      It’s kind of hard to know, because everybody is making nice with each other now. Deshaies claims he likes being close to his daughter who is law school in Illinois and he just likes being in the bigger broadcast area. They gave him a generous four year deal. The Astros claim they gave him a competitive offer.

      Fact: The Astros have traditionally expected their broadcast guys to work on one year deals.

      Opinion: I just don’t think they valued him to be as good as he is. They thought they could swing some easy deal and it wasn’t a priority for them. They blew it.

    • jeffa43 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      I can only guess… I am thinking he was honest about some of the transactions, and it did not sit well with the front office.

      He was smart, funny, and informed the viewers of all aspects of the team, and history. A great story teller.
      He has to now be the pride of the entire cubs organization.

      I know I will miss listening to him. Browny and JD were awesome.

  15. sportsdrenched - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Am I the only one who read this and then went: “Wait, the A’s and Astros are in the same division now”.

    • stex52 - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      The Astros are no threat to anyone for a couple of years. The real focus of this deal is Lowrie for the next one to two years. You make a good point as a general rule. But in this case, no harm to the A’s.

  16. sportsdrenched - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Call me a jaded Royals fan, but right now I have to go: Astros Process > Royals Process. Only time will tell.

  17. APBA Guy - Feb 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Lowrie staying healthy is the big question, but the A’s have seen enough of Carter to realize that he is too streaky for their taste. Also, the A’s may be the only people in town who don’t think Moss will regress to under .800 OPS. So the A’s think they can get Moss/Carter production-or near it-with Moss alone. Since they have 5 bona fide OF now, it’s also possible Smith can play some first, as well as DH more, giving them a more consistent bat in the lineup than what Carter provides. With Norris and Jaso at catcher Stassi was blocked.

    The real question for the A’s is the Verducci effect on Parker, Milone and Griffin. If those guys regress or start the season tired, it could be a very long year for the A’s.

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