The Oakland Athletics have reunited with infielder Jed Lowrie in a trade with the Houston Astros in exchange for right-handed pitcher Brendan McCurry, as Jane Lee of MLB.com reported.
Last winter, Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal form the Astros and expected to play in Houston for his entire contract. He was overshadowed by Carlos Correa all season long and the Astros were not going to pay him $15 million total over the next two seasons, so they shipped the veteran.
"I am disappointed to leave Houston. I think the Astros are obviously a team headed in right direction," Lowrie said after figuring out that he had been traded back to Oakland.
Lowrie will make $7.5 million next season and then $6.5 million in 2017. He has a $6 million club option for 2018. He is versatile, meaning he can be used in multiple places on the field. Lowrie has the ability to play shortstop, third base and second base, but it is not known where he will find most time.
It would make sense that Lowrie play at shortstop, which he would take over for Marcus Semien. The rookie made a ton of errors in the 2015 season to the point of disbelief. Regardless of who is replaced, Lowrie should see regular playing time.
"I’m familiar with Oakland, and we’ll see what they say and what role they see me in,” the infielder, Lowrie, said.
Lowrie hit .222/.312/.400 with nine home runs and 30 RBI over 69 games last season. He got super hot to start the season, but the 31-year-old suffered a thumb injury in April and eventually returned during the second half, but Lowrie was not able to get back to normal with his bat.
During his two seasons in Oakland (2013-2014), the infielder slashed .271/.334/.405 with 21 home runs and 125 RBI over 290 games. One thing that attracts most teams to Lowrie is that he can switch hit at the dish.
In exchange for Lowrie, the Astros received McCurry, who is a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher. McCurry played at Oklahoma State during his sophomore, junior and senior year after playing his first season at Howard Junior College in Texas. He was drafted by the Athletics in the 22nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
McCurry, 23, has an average fast ball, curveball and changeup, but his command is outstanding. The fact that he can control every single pitch gives him an advantage going through the Houston farm system.
With High-A Stockton and Double-A Midland in 2015, McCurry dominated with a 1.86 ERA, 0.889 WHIP and 27 saves over 63.0 innings pitched. He has a career 1.37 ERA over 67 appearances. The 23-year-old, who turns 24 in January, was not expected to break out like he has in the Minor Leagues.
McCurry could be a useful reliever for the Astros relatively soon.