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A’s Looked Into Lowrie

January 24, 2013

Great minds think alike? I was hoping that the A’s would try to acquire Houston’s Jed Lowrie and it turns out they did just that. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that,

“Before signing [Hiroyuki] Nakajima, the A’s had talks with Houston about former Stanford infielder Jed Lowrie, but the Astros’ asking price for the shortstop was too high. Houston has interest in DH-first baseman Chris Carter as well as one of the A’s young pitchers.

Lowrie might be a future option for Oakland, however, in the event of an injury or should the team need help anywhere on the infield, where he has played every spot.”

That was part of an article that discussed the A’s attendance at Cuban infield prospect Aledmys Diaz’ workout. This makes me think the A’s aren’t entirely sold on Nakajima, and I think it is reasonable to be a bit concerned about him. I’d have loved to have Lowrie, though the price of Carter and a young pitcher seems high. Of course there is a big difference between young pitchers, are we talking a young pitcher like Zach Thornton (traded to acquire Chris Resop) or a young pitcher like A.J. Cole (traded as part of the deal for John Jaso)? At that point the question really becomes do the A’s deal someone like Carter?

After two miserable trips to the big league club in 2010 and 2011, Carter finally broke through in 2012 when many were ready to give up on him. In just 260 plate appearances he amassed 0.8 WAR, boasting 16 home runs and a .239/.350/.514 slash line. He had a wOBA of .369 and a wRC+ of 137 in 67 games. The question is does he repeat it? Furthermore, do the A’s have enough faith in Brandon Moss to give him the sole first base job? It seems that for Billy Beane the answer was clearly no, but a versatile infielder like Lowrie is certainly worth considering sending Carter over for.

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