Most of the chatter surrounding the Milwaukee Brewers so far during this week’s Winter Meetings has been in regards to their need for pitching. But arms aren’t the only thing that Slingin’ David Stearns and company are on the lookout for. Stearns and manager Craig Counsell have both indicated that the club is keeping an open mind towards possible upgrades at second base, and one name that popped up late in the day yesterday was Jed Lowrie of the Athletics.
Oakland picked up Lowrie’s $6 mil contract option shortly after the season ended, which wasn’t a tough decision considering the 33 year old (34 next April) was fresh off one of the best seasons of his 10-year MLB career. The switch-hitter posted a .277/.360/.448 slash (119 wRC+) with 14 home runs across 645 plate appearances as the A’s starting second baseman in 2017.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland it’s now becoming “increasingly apparent” that Lowrie will be on the move “sooner rather than later.” The A’s are interested in addressing their corner outfield and left-handed relief depth and have Franklin Barreto on hand to take over at the keystone, Slusser states. She notes that second baseman are “in demand” this winter and that the Mets, Angels, and Brewers are teams that are known to be looking at the second base market.
Lowrie was a 1st-round pick by the Red Sox way back in 2005 and since debuting in the big leagues in 2008, he’s spent time in Boston, Houston, and Oakland. He’s appeared in 952 MLB games and has batted .261/.332/.408 (102 wRC+) with 81 home runs during 3,812 turns at the plate. He’s received extensive playing time at second base, third base, and shortstop throughout his career, though he’s not a particularly strong defender at any one of those positions. He’ll be a free agent after the 2018 season.
Slusser also adds within her article that Oakland is among the teams with interest in outfielder Domingo Santana, who the Brewers are reportedly listening to offers on. Oakland has a few high-quality prospects at the top of their farm system as well as young, controllable arms on their pitching staff, starting with Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea. A deal where the Brewers send Santana to Oakland while receiving Lowrie and a controllable pitcher could make some sense for both sides, though there is no indication that serious discussions have taken place.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs