After the acquisition of infielder Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros, it is expected that the Oakland Athletics will trade one of their extra infielders – either Brett Lawrie or Danny Valencia. It quickly became clear that Lawrie was the more desired player. With the Winter Meeting starting Monday, the rumors surrounding Lawrie have picked up.
Because Lawrie is young and was able to stay healthy for all of 2015, many ball clubs are interested in his future potential as a player. There seems to be at least four teams pursuing Lawrie – the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Los Angeles Angels. Additionally, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the New York Yankees could be a good fit for this Canadian-born infielder.
This offseason, the Oakland Athletics are looking for specific pieces to boost their team for 2016. As they review some potential trade deals, they will be most interested in acquiring pitchers – specifically relievers. One of the A’s goals during this year’s Winter Meetings is the improve the bullpen and they will not trade Lawrie until they receive the relief arms they are looking for.
When Lawrie first came to the Athletics, he was expected to be a power hitter with defensive abilities on par with Josh Donaldson’s skills. Unfortunately, Lawrie greatly underperformed offensively in 2015 and his defense was not that great either. Even though it is believed that he is full of untapped potential, his poor performance this season could affect his trade value. With so many teams interested in Lawrie, it will be interesting to see if those organizations base their trade offers on the idea that they would be acquiring a potentially great ballplayer or an underwhelming infielder.
One thing that we know for sure – the Oakland Athletics are not going to take a deal they do not like. They are trying to build their team for the future and are looking for some key pieces this offseason. If they do not believe they have received a qualified offered during the Winter Meetings this week, they will certainly wait until the right one comes across their desk.