Jed Lowrie was traded from the Houston Astros to the Oakland Athletics on Feb. 4 in a deal that has bolstered the infield of the 2012 American League West champs. What will Lowrie’s role be with his new team and how big of an impact will he have during the 2013 MLB season?
The 6-foot-0, 180-pound Lowrie has decent power for his size and is a tremendous defensive asset for Oakland. The former Boston Red Sox infielder batted .244 with 16 home runs and 42 RBI in 340 plate appearances with the Astros last season. The Athletics are very excited about the acquisition, as they believe he will be a solid playmaker on offense and defense.
“He always had good power for a guy in the middle of the infield,” general manager Billy Beane said. “It’s just hard to find that kind of power from a guy who can play the middle of the infield and doing it as a switch-hitter.”
Beane stated that he has had his eyes on Lowrie for years and jumped at the chance to trade for him when the opportunity presented itself. Even though Lowrie played only shortstop in Houston, he is more than capable of playing all four infield positions, which is exactly what Oakland has in mind for him this season. Since the team already signed Hiroyuki Nakajima to a two-year, $6.5 million this off-season, expect to see Lowrie all over the place in 2013.
“I feel most comfortable at shortstop,” Lowrie said. “But I’ve played some second base in my career as well. I’m certainly more comfortable up the middle than anywhere else on the diamond. But I’ve had some experience at third base.”
The 28-year-old will have a very different role than the one he had last season in which he played in 93 contests for a team that lost 100 games. Even though he did not play every game with the Astros, he still saw plenty of the diamond, which is something that could very well change in Oakland where he might not see the field nearly as much. However, considering Lowrie will be playing for a contender once again in his career that is certainly something that is worth giving up to him.