Beane Pulls Another One Out of the Hat
by Dave Mills
Billy Beane has once again pulled what appears to be a sparkler of a deal for the A’s about 10 days before Pitchers and Catchers.
This time he gobbles up versatile infielder Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros of the American League for right-handed hitting Chris Carter (DH/1B)and prospects Brad Peacock (RHP) and Max Stassi (C), who became expendable when Beane pilfered left-handed hitting backstop John Jaso from the Mariners a couple of weeks ago. This could allow newly signed Hiroyuki Nakajima to slide over to 2B if the A’s find his defense wanting.
The deal sets the table for either Seth Smith or Brandon Moss (both also play 1B) to become the left-handed or full-time DH and leaves Mr. Moneyball in an interesting position to entertain a deal that could bring him a right-handed hitting slugger to slot in at 1B, DH or even 3B (if Josh Donaldson falters). Wilmer Flores could be just the right piece for the A’s. While an extremely promising hitter, Flores is not a fit for the Mets with Wright, Davis and no DH.
Trading the Mets No. 5 prospect for the A’s No. 1—Michael Choice— is not far-fetched, especially when considering the crowded Oakland outfield. Choice is an interesting prospect, who has been primarily a CF, but could easily slot into the corners. He is a left-handed batsman with OK wheels and is expected to hit for reasonable power.
Of course, another option could involve taking Coco Crisp and his two-year deal ($7 million per-year) off Beane’s hands in exchange for Flores and perhaps a “B+” pitching prospect and Justin Turner, who could be an excellent backup at all the Oakland infield slots this season. Crisp could be a much more reasonably-priced addition to the Mets than Michael Bourne for just two years until Den Dekker, Nieuwenhuis, Nimmo and others earn their stripes.
Either way, there is certainly a match waiting to be exploited between two teams where each front office understands how the other does business.