What the Lowrie Trade Means for the A’s


May 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie (4) hits a home run against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. The Astros defeated the Cubs 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t heard,  the Oakland A’s made a big roster move today by acquiring shortstop Jed Lowrie from the Astros along with right-hander Fernando Rodriguez in exchange for first baseman Chris Carter, right-hander Brad Peacock and catcher Max Stassi.

What ramifications does this trade have for the A’s?

A’s Have a Complete Lineup

The A’s now have a complete lineup from top-to-bottom, one through nine.

Here is what I think their opening day lineup will look like:

1. Coco Crisp CF

2. Jed Lowrie 2B

3. Yoenis Cespedes LF

4. Brandon Moss 1B

5. Josh Reddick RF

6. Seth Smith DH

7. John Jaso C

8. Hiroyuki Nakajima SS

9. Josh Donaldson 3B

Remember that the A’s have four everyday outfielders, meaning Chris Young may be switched interchangeably with any of the outfielders, or one of them may be used as a DH.

But what this trade really means is that the A’s no longer have a position battle for second base between Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore. Lowrie, who is extremely versatile, will play all over the infield but I think will settle into second base for much of the season. However, I can’t see them keeping both Weeks and Sizemore on the roster; one of them will have to go .

Nakajima will still be the A’s everyday shortstop, and although Lowrie says he is most comfortable at short, the A’s need him to rotate wherever necessary in case of injury or a dry spell from an infielder.

But look for Lowrie to be Oakland’s second baseman on opening day.

“Big Chris” Moving Out

Unfortunately, a deal to bring in a quality player like Lowrie means the A’s had to give up a pretty good player in return, and that happened to be first

July 30, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics first baseman Chris Carter (22) returns to the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

baseman Chris Carter.

Carter hit .239 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI in just 67 games after being called up from Triple A mid-season. He was the right-handed complement to platoon with Moss, and together the duo combined to put up huge numbers at first base for the A’s.

“Given where this club finished last year and where we see it having a chance to compete this year, we wanted to do everything we could to help ourselves right now and felt this was the best route to go,” said general manager Billy Beane. “It wasn’t going to get done unless Chris was in this deal.”

Carter’s absence will give Moss most, if not all, of the at-bats at first base. However, Lowrie could be used as a platoon-mate, considering that he is a switch-hitter.

I think the A’s should just turn Moss loose and let him be their everyday starter at first. I mean, the guy has been unconscious since joining the A’s midseason in 2012, batting .291 with 21 home runs and 52 RBI in 84 games. If he had played in a 162-game season, Moss was on pace to hit over 40 home runs.

By acquiring Lowrie, the A’s have solidified their lineup and opened the door for their young first baseman to have a sensational 2013.

I don’t know how Beane continues to pull of deals like this, because if I was an opposing GM, I would just not answer the phone if I saw his name on caller ID.