Tag: Jed Lowrie

MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Brian Dozier, Jed Lowrie, More

Major League Baseball’s hot stove has cooled off in the aftermath of the winter meetings, but there’s still some buzz circulating the rumor mill as the calendar gets set to flip to 2017. 

Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier has emerged as a legitimate trade candidate following a sensational 2016 season, and he’s not the only infielder who could be available. 

Then there’s the Tampa Bay Rays’ Drew Smyly, who has continued to generate interest from teams in need of quality starting pitchers to round out their rotations. 

So as the rumblings get louder, here’s a rundown of the latest rumors from across MLB


Multiple Teams Showing Interest in Dozier

With so many big names off the market, all eyes are on Dozier and the Twins for the time being. And as it turns out, Minnesota may be more motivated to deal him than initially believed. 

According to 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson, the Los Angeles Dodgers are “still very much in it” when it comes to the chase for Dozier. Wolfson added the St. Louis Cardinals are also “very much in it,” while the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants “remain in dialogue.” 

Interest in Dozier, of course, is not a surprise. 

The 29-year-old put together a stellar 2016 campaign that saw him bat a career-best .268, smash 42 home runs and notch 99 RBI. Those 42 dingers were the most all-time by an American League second baseman, per CBSSports.com’s Mike Axisa, and they evidently made several National League contenders take notice.

Chief among that group is the Cardinals, who represent a logical landing spot for the 2015 All-Star.  

“The Cardinals spent big to sign Dexter Fowler, and they were linked to Justin Turner before he agreed to re-sign with Los Angeles, so it’s not [surprising] to hear they’re in on Dozier,” Axisa wrote. “St. Louis clearly wants another middle-of-the-order power bat and Dozier qualifies.”

Regardless of which team comes out on top in the chase for Dozier, one thing is clear: The Twins are intent on maximizing return value for the rising star before he becomes an unrestricted free agent following the 2018 season. 


A’s Making Lowrie Available? 

The Oakland A’s don’t appear thrilled with their situation at second base in the short term, and executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane has disclosed as much.

“It’s a concern,” Beane said, per CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich. “Long term, I think we feel like we have some options that probably aren’t quite ready yet. I think we prefer not to rush those options.”

And while Jed Lowrie has proved his worth in the past, it seems the A’s could look to ship him out of the Bay Area if they’re able to show teams he has recovered fully from August’s left foot surgery. 

“It’s believed they’ve at least gauged trade interest for him this winter, though his physical status could make it tougher to pull off a deal,” Stiglich wrote. “He’s in the final season of a three-year deal that will pay him $6.5 million in 2017.”

Dealing Lowrie over the offseason may not be particularly easy since interested parties will want evidence he’s able to stay healthy once he returns to the diamond, but this is a situation worth monitoring as the spring approaches. 


Mariners Still Chasing Smyly

Seattle Mariners starting pitchers ranked fourth in the American League with a 4.25 ERA last season, but the team’s front office isn’t content just yet. 

According to the Seattle TimesRyan Divish, “A baseball source said the Mariners tried to work a deal for Rays lefty Drew Smyly during the winter meetings.”

Divish added the following regarding Tampa Bay’s motivations behind a potential deal involving Smyly: “Tampa seems more inclined to part with Smyly since he’s projected to make $6.8 million in his third year of arbitration and is a free agent after the 2018 season.”

It remains unclear what the Mariners would part with to try and pry Smyly from the Rays, but there’s no denying he’d be a quality pickup for a franchise looking to make its first postseason appearance since 2001. 

The 27-year-old southpaw owns a 3.74 lifetime ERA, and his mark of 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings would bolster the back end of a Mariners rotation that already boasts Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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Jed Lowrie Injury: Updates on Athletics 2B’s Shin and Return

The Oakland Athletics placed second baseman Jed Lowrie on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a bruised right shin, per MLB.com’s Jane Lee.

Continue for updates.  

Athletics Taking Cautious Approach with Lowrie

Wednesday, May 11

A’s manager Bob Melvin explained how Lowrie’s trip to the DL is more of a proactive move to ensure he comes back fully healthy, per Lee: “It’s a severe contusion, and we didn’t feel like he was even going to be able to do baseball activity for seven or eight days, so it made sense to put him on the DL and make sure that when we get him back this isn’t something he’s fighting through and trying to manage while he’s playing.”

The injury occurred during Oakland’s 14-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Monday when Lowrie fouled the ball off his right shin. He left after the top of the seventh inning, with Billy Butler taking his place in the lineup and Chris Coghlan moving from third base to second.

The 32-year-old is on pace for a relatively strong season compared to his output the last two years. He’s batting .302 with 17 RBI, though his .345 slugging percentage leaves a lot to be desired.

Injuries have been Lowrie’s biggest problem since hitting the big leagues. Only twice in nine years has he played in more than 100 games.

Coghlan will likely remain at second for the next couple of weeks. He’s only hitting .165 in 107 plate appearances, but the Athletics don’t have many other choices, especially after announcing they moved Eric Sogard to the 60-day DL on Wednesday.

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Jed Lowrie to Athletics: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The Oakland Athletics let infielder Jed Lowrie walk in free agency one year ago, but the team realized its mistake and made amends.   

The Astros confirmed they shipped pitcher Brendan McCurry to the Athletics in return for Lowrie on Wednesday. MLB.com’s Jane Lee first reported the deal.  

“I’m disappointed to leave Houston,” Lowrie said after the deal, via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. “I think the Astros are obviously a team headed in right direction.”

The utility man signed a three-year, $23 million deal with the Astros last winter. As a result, he’s slated to make $7.5 million next season before earning $6.5 million in 2017, per Spotrac. Lowrie also has a club option worth $6 million that triggers at the team’s discretion in 2018. 

“I signed the three-year deal here thinking I’d be here for those three years,” Lowrie said, via McTaggart.

The move is a logical one on the surface for an Oakland team in need of infield depth, as Lee noted: 

Last season, Lowrie batted .222 with a .312 on-base percentage while totaling nine home runs and 30 RBI. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Lowrie played 381.1 innings at third base and 153 innings at shortstop in his return to the Astros. 

However, Lowrie dealt with a thumb injury that forced him to miss three months spanning late April to late July. Combined with Carlos Correa’s astounding rookie campaign, Lowrie evidently became an expendable piece of Houston’s title-contending puzzle. 

Lowrie was traded from the Astros to the A’s once before in early 2013, so this is hardly uncharted territory for the eighth-year veteran.

Now back in the Bay Area, Lowrie will attempt to stabilize an Oakland defense that committed an MLB-worst 126 errors and posted a .979 fielding percentage—six points below the MLB average. 

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Jed Lowrie Injury: Updates on Astros Shortstop’s Thumb and Return

The Houston Astros placed shortstop Jed Lowrie on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his thumb. He will be out until after the All-Star Game.

Continue for updates.

Astros Place Lowrie on Disabled List

Tuesday, April 28

The team’s official Twitter account noted Tuesday that Lowrie is headed to the disabled list with the torn ligament and infielder Jonathan Villar will take his place on the roster. The team also provided some information on Lowrie‘s recovery process:

He discussed the injury, via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com:

We are playing well, I was playing well. I think that makes it even more difficult to swallow. Given the way it blew up as far as getting swollen as quickly as it did, I figured something was going on. When I talked to the doc he wanted me to get home and relax and get hydrated and get some good food before we did surgery.

Lowrie posted a .300 batting average with four home runs and 10 RBI in his first 60 at-bats of the 2015 campaign. He hit only six home runs all season in 2014, so this trip to the disabled list was unfortunate timing for someone who tapped back into his power in the early going. 

Houston sits in first place in the American League West and will need someone to replace Lowrie’s production in the lineup if it hopes to stay there. The versatile infielder Villar can play a number of different positions if needed, which helps with matchups, but prospect Carlos Correa comes to mind as a potential long-term solution.

Correa is only 20 years old and likely needs some time before reaching the Major League level, but Ben Badler of Baseball America and Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle pointed out how effective Correa has been in the minors thus far:

Correa will be the long-term answer at shortstop for the Astros for years to come if he reaches his potential, but the team likely won’t call him up before he is completely ready. As difficult as it is to lose Lowrie this early in the season, Correa’s development is more important for the franchise’s future.

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Jed Lowrie to Astros: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Free-agent infielder Jed Lowrie has signed a three-year contract with the Houston Astros after spending the last two seasons with the Oakland Athletics.    

The Astros’ official Twitter account passed along the official report:

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports noted more contract details:

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports provided the yearly breakdown of the deal:

Drellich also passed along what position Lowrie will be playing moving forward:

Lowrie sounded optimistic about the direction his new team is headed, via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com:

Lowrie has enjoyed solid production over the last two years after spending 2012 with the Astros. The 30-year-old hit just .249/.321/.355 last season but had 15 home runs and a career-high 75 RBI the previous year, which speaks to his upside.   

Richard Justice of MLB.com shared his thoughts on the move while also providing a comment from general manager Jeff Luhnow:

Last season, Lowrie took issue with his former and now current club. Former Astros pitcher Paul Clemens was ejected in April after plunking Lowrie in the seventh inning of a game.

Following that game, the infielder called the incident flat-out embarrassing.” The hit by pitch reportedly resulted from his decision to bunt in the seventh inning of a previous game.

However, the two main culprits from those antics, including former manager Bo Porter, are no longer with the team, as McTaggart notes:

In Houston, Lowrie may serve as a stopgap with Carlos Correa potentially taking over in the future. Correa suffered a season-ending injury last year but is still the Astros’ top prospect, according to Baseball America.

Lowrie has familiarity with the Astros and joins a team that has already made several moves this offseason. Houston may be in the difficult AL West but is slowly adding talent to emerge as contenders in the division.


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Updated Chances for Washington Nationals to Sign Top 5 Remaining FA Targets

Most free-agency talk regarding the Washington Nationals this winter will start and end with their search for a second baseman. But MLB‘s offseason isn’t called the “Hot Stove” because of aging middle infielders moving teams. 

It’s true, Washington could probably trot out its roster as is and contend for its second consecutive division title. But, as The Washington Post‘s Thomas Boswell points out, a blockbuster signing is never out of the question with Nats general manager Mike Rizzo. 

Rizzo proved that to be true in 2011 with the acquisition of outfielder Jayson Werth and in 2012 when he brought in starter Gio Gonzalez, two players who have been instrumental in the Nationals’ recent success. 

This time around, it’s free-agent hurler Max Scherzer’s name that is punctuating the discussion of second base options like Jed Lowrie and Stephen Drew. 

Washington’s biggest waves in free agency should come once the likes of Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister are either dealt or signed to extensions, but the Nationals are highly unlikely to remain quiet all offseason.

Therefore, here are the chances some of Washington’s most notable targets don the red, white and blue next season.

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St. Louis Cardinals Free Agent Rumors: Pros and Cons of Top Offseason Targets

The Hot Stove League is in full swing and the rumors are swirling at a rapid pace. At this rate, the Cardinals will have about 10 shortstops to fill their void before the week is out.

Here is a breakdown of some of those rumors and the pros and cons with each rumored player as they pertains to the Cardinals’ needs.


Troy Tulowitzki

The Cardinals are supposedly kicking the tires on trading for Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and the possibility of bringing him to St. Louis to fill the huge hole at shortstop. 

Pros: Tulo is by far the best shortstop in the National League when healthy.  He can hit for power and has an excellent glove with great range.  The guy is game-changer and a middle-of-the-lineup presence any team would want. 

Cons:  The Cardinals would have to package a pretty sweet deal of pitching and other prospects to get Tulowitzki.  I don’t think he is worth it in the long run.


J.J. Hardy

This deal may be dead at this point, but as any baseball fan knows, deals can heat back up again at the drop of a hat.  One possible scenario to heat things back up would be for the Cardinals to perhaps offer Lance Lynn in exchange for Hardy after the Cardinals turned down the Orioles‘ offer of Hardy for Shelby Miller. 

Pros: Hardy is coming off the best year of his career.  He raked in all kinds of awards this season, including being an All-Star, Gold Glove winner and Silver Slugger.  Hardy swatted 25 home runs and drove in 76 runs while being a plus defender.  

Cons: Hardy will be 31 next season and will only be under contract through 2014. It would obviously be a bad trade for the Cardinals if they couldn’t find a way to extend Hardy beyond 2014. I would like to see the Cardinals get a core shortstop if they trade a highly valuable arm and frankly Hardy doesn’t meet that criterion.


Jed Lowrie

I am a fan of making this deal happen.  However, Athletics manger Bob Melvin says it’s not likely to happen.

Pros: Lowrie had a career year in 2013.  He hit .290 with 15 home runs and 75 RBI and knocked 45 doubles. Lowrie showed he can play when he stays on the field. Plus, Lowrie would be the cheapest option of the three shortstops mentioned. He made $2.4 million in 2013 and is arbitration eligible for 2014.  He’ll get a raise, but it will still be less than what Tulo and Hardy make.

Cons: Lowrie has only had one season, 2013, where he played more than 97 games.  So who knows what a team will get if they somehow acquire Lowrie. Will he be the guy who played 154 games or the guy who can barely stay on the field. One other con is the question raised earlier about a core-type player.  Lowrie is a better option than Hardy in that department, but his injury history could seriously cramp his core status. 

It will be exciting to see what the Cardinals will do to fill their shortstop needs for 2014.  With their deep pool of talent to shop with, the Cardinals are in the drivers seat to make whatever deal they deem suitable.


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Oakland A’s: Predicting What Oakland’S Starting Lineup Will Look Like Next Year

Even as the Oakland A’s fight for their second consecutive American West League Championship over the last six weeks of the Major League Baseball season, there is a truth that should hearten fans in the East Bay and everywhere else: This team is built to last. They are young and—although inconsistent at times—this team’s core is full of talent. 

With that said, even as this team fights to secure a spot in the postseason, they will likely be underdogs to capture the team’s first title in 24 years. However, with the nucleus likely in tact, it isn’t too early to project how the team’s starting lineup might look in 2014. Here is my highly unofficial look at that lineup, but first and just for fun, here was a projection NBC Sports baseball writer Matthew Pouliot had in February 2012.

2B Jemile Weeks
CF Grant Green
1B Daric Barton
RF Yoenis Cespedes
DH Seth Smith
3B Scott Sizemore
LF Michael Choice
C Derek Norris
SS Cliff Pennington

Obviously Pouliot could not account for trades and other factors but look at that lineup. Two players are no longer with the club (Green and Pennington), two have fallen so far that they can’t get playing time in Oakland (Weeks and Barton), and two lost their jobs due to either injury (Sizemore) or lack of production (Norris). 

As a matter of fact, the only player you can say will be on this team in 2014 is Yoenis Cespedes. And you know what?

That is not a bad thing.

Billy Beane converted a middling roster on the fly into a potential back to back division champion. So anyone who projected Oakland’s lineup for next year would be inaccurate.

So, what will that lineup look like in 2014? Here is my take:


2B Jed Lowrie

Lowrie is not a conventional lead-off hitter, but with Coco Crisp turning 34 and hitting free agency, I have a feeling the A’s will need a new bat at the top of the lineup. Lowrie has been steady, if not spectacular, at the plate and that is the kind of player the A’s need leading off.


DH Seth Smith

I have a feeling that 2013 was more of a fluke for Smith even though, for the second year in a row, his batting average has paled in comparison to his production in Colorado. Who doesn’t struggle when compared to time spent at Coors Field? I expect to see the power return and Smith is a solid number two guy initially.


CF Yoenis Cespedes

Cespedes will move to his natural centerfield with the departure of Crisp. My lofty predictions might have to wait a year, but I think Cespedes will have a big year in 2014. 


RF Josh Reddick

Much like fellow neo-Bash Brother Cespedes, Reddick has had a largely underwhelming 2013. Is he as bad as he has been this year? No. Is he as good as he was in his 32 home run, Gold-Glove-winning 2012? Maybe not. But something in between would be a nice improvement for the A’s at this spot.

3B Josh Donaldson

Donaldson’s year has not been a fluke. While ultimately this position will be filled by phenom Addison Russell, for now Donaldson is entrenched at the hot corner for the A’s. 

1B Brandon Moss

Moss was destined for a fall off after a pretty remarkable burst in 2012 (.291/.358/.596 splits) which saw him smash 21 home runs in 84 games. So even though he is hitting under .240 and has few home runs after 110+ games than he did in all of 2012, Moss is still the man at this spot. He may alternate time with— 


LF Michael Choice

The curveball comes with prospect Michael Choice. Scouted as an all-or-nothing type power-hitter, Choice has displayed an improved eye in 2013 and, while his power numbers have dipped, he looks like a better hitter. Choice impressed in the spring and probably would have been the first guy from Triple-A in the outfield if the A’s weren’t so deep at that spot. He gets his chance in 2014.


C Derek Norris

If John Jaso were to ‘win’ the battle at catcher (imagine them likely platooning next year again), you could swap Jaso and Smith at the number two and eight spots. But I think Norris gets a chance to finally put a solid season together. Ultimately, whoever is behind the plate must improve defensively as the A’s catchers have struggled in 2013.

SS Hiroyuki Nakajima

Nakajima has a giant INC for a grade next to his 2013 as his spring injury and the play of Lowrie and Eric Sogard kept him from getting up to Oakland. But the contract plus the talent (he is up to .293 at Triple-A Sacramento) will merit an opportunity for the Japanese star. At least initially.

So there you have it. I think the A’s might try to bring Chris Young back at a discounted price, but he will likely draw attention on the free agent market. Alberto Callaspo should step in for Adam Rosales as the A’s utility player du jour in 2014. That is a marked improvement. I look at Eric Sogard backing up Nakajima more in terms of money than production because quite simply, we don’t know what the Japanese star has yet. 

Ultimately, some of the major components to upgrade the roster are likely a couple years away still. This includes Russell, Renato Nunez, and not Michael Taylor. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Taylor reminds me of that line from the X-Files: I want to believe. But after all this time, it is pretty clear that in Oakland, he is a AAAA player and not the potential stud he appeared to be when acquired. 

Oakland’s offense will improve as key components improve. I’m not saying that there might not be a trade or two as well as a couple of signings. But these will likely add to depth and not supplant the core players currently on the roster. What you see is what you get. And, even though the little things drive you crazy as an A’s fan (situational hitting!), there is still enough talent to win again next year.

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Oakland A’s: History Dictates That It Is Far Too Early to Panic over 2013 Start

After their first 40 games, the Oakland A’s are 20-20 in the 2013 season.

Remember 2012? The A’s started 20-20 as well. In 2006, The A’s—led by Frank Thomas—rode a five-game winning streak to get to 21-19 after 40 games. 

Historically, the A’s have tended to be a slow-starting team. Under manager Bob Geren, the club never started better than 23-17 through 40 games (2008) and started as slowly as 15-25 (2009) while opening 20-20 three times. 

Go back to the Moneyball era when the A’s opened 21-19 (2000), 18-22 (2001) and 19-21 (2002) after 40 games. Oakland went on to win 91, 102, and 103 games those three seasons, respectively.

In many ways, the 12-4 start that the Athletics have raced out to this season was a bit of fool’s gold. Eleven of those 12 wins came at the expense of AL West foes Seattle, Los Angeles (Angels) and Houston. Those teams sit a combined 31 games under .500 heading into Tuesday, May 14.

Once the torrid starts by guys like Jed Lowrie and Seth Smith died down, so did the early offense. Add to those laws of averages the injuries to Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick, Brett Anderson and Jarrod Parker as reality dragged the A’s back down to earth.

The only thing is that this is still a very talented team. WIth a quarter of the season gone, the projected Oakland lineup has played less than 15 total games together. Even if the A’s don’t duplicate their wins from 2012, there is no way that Anderson and Parker continue to post ERA’s of 6.21 and 6.86,  respectively. 

It is still a marathon in the game of baseball and right now, the A’s have run roughly 6.5 of the 26.2-mile 2013 race. They’re just getting warmed up.

Relax and hope that players like Daric Barton can hold the fort down when called upon until all of the gang gets back. When they do, the A’s will take off like they traditionally do when the talent takes the field in Oakland. 

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MLB: Selecting the AL West’s Quarter-Pole All-Star Team

As the 2013 Major League Baseball season race reaches the quarter pole, it becomes time to take stock of where teams and players are in terms of production. 

In the American League West, the Texas Rangers have taken their customary position of being the front runner, largely due to tremendous pitching and consistent power in the lineup. The A’s and Mariners have both been largely inconsistent, with the A’s scuffling back to .500 since starting the year 12-4. 

However, the biggest story has been the lack of success in Anaheim as the Los Angeles Angels are not fighting for an expected spot at the top, but trying to keep clear of division newcomers the Houston Astros. In the basement.

There have been solid performances from individuals on all five teams. But sometimes, overlapping positions keep deserving players from receiving deserved accolades. This will likely be no exception. 

So instead of lamenting who is not, we shall spotlight who is. Starting with catcher and ending a pitching rotation (relievers included), here is the AL West’s Quarter-Pole All-Star Team.

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