OAKLAND (AP/CBS13) – The Oakland Athletics acquired infielder Jed Lowrie and right-hander Fernando Rodriguez from the Houston Astros for first baseman Chris Carter and two minor leaguers on Monday, including Yuba City product Max Stassi.
Stassi and right-hander Brad Peacock and also went to Houston in the deal between franchises that will be playing in the same division for the first time following the Astros’ move from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013.
Lowrie batted .244 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 97 games with Houston, missing two months with ankle and thumb injuries. Despite the limited playing time, Lowrie tied for the fourth most homers among all shortstops last year.
He played exclusively at shortstop last season but previously played second and third base as well during his four years with the Boston Red Sox. The A’s had previously signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima to a $6.5 million, two-year contract to be an everyday player and could use Lowrie at a variety of positions.
Lowrie, who played his college ball at nearby Stanford, agreed to a $2.4 million salary to avoid arbitration. The Astros are likely to have the lowest payroll in the majors in 2013.
Rodriguez went 2-10 with a 5.37 ERA in 71 relief appearances last year. He struck out 78 batters in 70 1-3 innings.
Carter batted .239 with 16 homers and 39 RBIs in 67 games with Oakland last year while also playing at Triple-A Sacramento. With Oakland, he platooned at first base with left-handed hitting Brandon Moss. He provides needed power for the Astros and could thrive at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park.
Peacock was acquired by Oakland from Washington in the deal that sent Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals following the 2011 season. After going 15-3 with a 2.39 ERA in the minors in his final year in the Nationals system, Peacock was 12-9 with a 6.01 ERA at Triple-A Sacramento last season. He was ranked as Oakland’s top pitching prospect for 2013 by Baseball America.
The 21-year-old Stassi batted .268 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 84 games at Class A Stockton in 2012 and was considered Oakland’s top catching prospect. He won three Sac-Joaquin Section titles while starring at catcher for Yuba City High, playing under his father, Jim Stassi. He was drafted in the fourth round by the A’s in 2009.
“This trade gives us power, pitching and catching,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. “Three valuable commodities that will help improve our organization.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.)