The Oakland Athletics are in the midst of a rebuild, but Billy Beane still has a few trade chips remaining on the table.
Jed Lowrie played exceptionally well in 2013 when arriving in Oakland via trade with the Houston Astros. Lowrie stayed healthy throughout his first stint with the A’s and finished with 15 HR and 75 RBI.
He regressed a bit in 2014 and finished the year with 6 HR and 50 RBI. Lowrie opted to rejoin the Astros in 2015 before finding his way back to Oakland in 2016. The A’s have traded for Lowrie twice and seem to value the switch-hitter.
Last year was a bit of a disappointment for Lowrie, who struggled to stay healthy. He finished the year with just two home runs and 27 RBI. Lowrie’s name popped up in a few trade rumors last offseason, but the A’s decided to keep him around for another season.
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This year has been a complete turnaround for the A’s infielder. He is currently hitting .270/.336/.449 with 10 HR and 34 RBI. Billy Beane is expected to cut ties with the remaining veterans on the roster, including Lowrie.
We projected Lowrie, who is the final year of his three-year deal, as being the team’s most likely candidate to be traded this summer. Lowrie has performed quite well this year, but the A’s currently have Franklin Barreto waiting in the minors.
Barreto, who was acquired in the deal that sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto, is the team’s top prospect. He made a quick appearance last month, but struggled to find his footing. Despite his struggles, however, the A’s still view Barreto as a crucial piece of the team’s future.
Lowrie takes up a spot on the infield, so moving him will need to happen before Barreto is called back up to Oakland.
A Return To Boston?
While Lowrie has proved to be rather efficient this year, the A’s haven’t received any serious offers for the infielder. There might be plenty of interest, but the A’s are not going to just give Lowrie away for nothing.
Beane has stated this month that the A’s will be focused on acquiring the best players in any potential trades. Beane is interested in stockpiling his farm system and Lowrie could help Beane replenish the team’s minor league talent.
The A’s may have a trade partner in the Boston Red Sox. Returning to Boston would be a homecoming of sorts for Lowrie, who was drafted by Boston in 2005. Boston could slide Lowrie over to third base if they decide to make a run at him.
What would be the A’s asking price for Lowrie? That remains a mystery, but Beane will likely look for promising young talent in return for Lowrie. At this point, Boston makes the most sense for Lowrie and the A’s.