One week before camps open across Major League Baseball, the Oakland A's and Houston Astros showed that the offseason is far from over.
The teams announced a five-player deal Monday evening, with infielder Jed Lowrie going from the Astros to the A's as the centerpiece. Interestingly, this was an intra-division trade; the Astros are about to begin their first season in the American League West.
Lowrie, a switch-hitter with a career .743 OPS, appeals to Oakland because of his major league experience at all four infield positions. Hiroyuki Nakajima remains the A's first choice to play shortstop, according to a major league source. That frees Lowrie to play elsewhere. Oakland doesn't have a proven everyday player at third base or second base.
Fernando Rodriguez, a relief pitcher who made 71 appearances for Houston last year, went to Oakland with Lowrie, while the Astros obtained first baseman Chris Carter, right-hander Brad Peacock and minor league catcher Max Stassi from Oakland.