A's get Lowrie in five-player deal
The teams announced a five-player deal Monday evening, with infielder Jed Lowrie going from the Astros to the A’s as the centerpiece. Interestingly, this was an intra-division trade; the Astros are about to begin their first season in the American League West.
Lowrie, a switch-hitter with a career .743 OPS, appeals to Oakland because of his major league experience at all four infield positions. Hiroyuki Nakajima remains the A’s first choice to play shortstop, according to a major league source. That frees Lowrie to play elsewhere. Oakland doesn’t have a proven everyday player at third base or second base.
Fernando Rodriguez, a relief pitcher who made 71 appearances for Houston last year, went to Oakland with Lowrie, while the Astros obtained first baseman Chris Carter, right-hander Brad Peacock and minor league catcher Max Stassi from Oakland.
Carter, 26, was the right-handed half of a platoon at first base for A’s manager Bob Melvin down the stretch in 2012. He amassed big power numbers in a limited sample size — an .864 OPS and 16 home runs in only 260 plate appearances.
Peacock, 25, reached the majors with the Washington Nationals in 2011 but struggled in the A’s farm system last year, going 12-9 with a 6.01 ERA in 28 games at Triple-A Sacramento. But he’s a highly regarded prospect who recently ranked fourth in the Oakland farm system, according to Baseball America.
Stassi produced a .799 OPS at Single-A Stockton last year, his second consecutive year in the California League. He’s relatively young — he won’t turn 22 until next month — and was Oakland’s 14th-best prospect, according to Baseball America.