Luhnow comments on Jed Lowrie trade
The Astros continue to load up on young talent. Even if it means trading away their veterans.
This time the Astros have traded shortstop Jed Lowrie to the Athletics as a part of a five-player deal.
Lowrie and right-handed reliever Fernando Rodriguez are heading to Oakland, while first baseman Chris Carter, right-handed pitcher Brad Peacock and catcher Max Stassi are coming to Houston.
"I think this deal helps us in the short-term and it also very-much helps us in the medium-term," general manager Jeff Luhnow said to CSNHouston. "That's why we were so excited about it.
"It's one of those rare deals where it's a win-win for both sides. Oakland has excess young pitching. They have excess catching depth and they have excess right-handed power and it's those three things we were looking to accomplish if we were to trade an asset like Jed Lowrie and obviously Jed was an important part of the team last year and projected to be an important part coming up."
Lowrie hit .244 in 97 games with 16 homers and 42 RBIs with the Astros in 2012 after being acquired in an offseason trade from the Red Sox. But aside from Lowrie's statistics, he was considered to be one of the leaders on a young Astros' squad. He was a first-round pick by the Red Sox in 2005.
When asked about leadership on the young team, outfielder Justin Maxwell was quick to name Lowrie as one of the four leaders a little over a week ago. Maxwell said he, Lowrie, newcomer Carlos Pena and Bud Norris were the leaders on the team.
On Monday, Luhnow again mentioned that the Astros' young coaching staff will help fill the void left by the lack of veteran players on the roster. The Astros have the youngest roster in baseball. Luhnow said that first-year manager Bo Porter is an "enthusiastic supporter" of the trade.
While Lowrie was productive last season, he had trouble staying on the field. He played in just 97 games in 2012, which was the highest total he's had in his five-year career.
Rodriguez was 2-10 with the Astros last year in 71 appearances with a 5.37 ERA from the bullpen.
The new faces
First baseman Carter and pitcher Peacock have already been added to the 40-man roster and Stassi will be a non-roster invitee at Spring Training.
Carter, 26, played in 67 games for the Athletics last season and hit .239 with 39 RBIs and 16 homers in just 67 games. He did strike out 83 times with just 39 walks. Carter is probably the centerpiece of the deal.
"He's a guy that's going to create some runs and do some damage," Luhnow.
Peacock, 25, spent his 2012 with Triple-A Sacramento, where he posted a 12-9 record with 139 strikeouts in 134.2 innings. He appeared in three games with the Nationals in 2011 and went 2-0 (two starts) with a 0.75 ERA. He allowed seven hits for .167 opponent batting average. Luhnow said the organization sees Peacock as a middle- to top-of-the-rotation starter in coming years.
Stassi, 21, was a fourth-rounder in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Astros. He hit .268 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 84 games with single-A Stockton in 2012.