Athletics Make 5-Player Trade with New Division Rivals and What It Means

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 4, 2013

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 30: Jed Lowrie #4 of the Houston Astros bats against the Milwaukee Brewers during game action at Miller Park on September 30, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Astros defeated the Brewers 7 - 0. (Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Mark Hirsch/Getty Images

Billy Beane continues to make trades this offseason as we get closer and closer to spring training.  

After earlier in the offseason Beane acquired Chris Young and John Jaso via trade, Beane is at it again.

This time, Beane gave up three players in exchange for two (according to CSN California) with the newest member of the AL West: the Houston Astros.  

The A's parted with half of their first-base platoon in Chris Carter, pitcher Brad Peacock and catcher Max Stassi.  

The A's received infielder Jed Lowrie and pitcher Fernando Rodriguez from the Houston Astros.

After how the A's shocked the baseball world in 2012 with a dramatic playoff run and division title, it was thought that the best course of action to take this offseason was for Oakland to keep their own players and stay intact for 2013.

Considering the recent injury history of Lowrie, the A's gave up way too much for him and Rodriguez, who is not very impressive himself. 

Lowrie played only 97 games in 2012, in which he hit .244 with 16 home runs.  Rodriguez, in 2012, went 2-10 with a high ERA of 5.37 in about 70 innings.

For these two players with mediocre stats from 2012, the A's gave up Carter, who clubbed 16 homers in 218 at-bats.  Carter may have only hit for an average of .239, but he was valuable as a part of the first-base platoon with fellow power-hitter Brandon Moss.

With Moss now alone at first, maybe Bob Melvin will make Moss the everyday starter at first—or possibly the A's will try to give one of their five starting-caliber outfielders playing at first on a part-time basis.

Peacock was a top-rank minor league pitcher for the A's organization, and it was nice to have him in case of injury.  Now, the A's have given up two of their better minor league pitchers after already parting with A.J. Cole earlier this offseason.  

Taking another look at Lowrie and Rodriguez, it seems the A's gave up too much.  To give up a power hitter like Carter and a promising young pitcher like Peacock, the A's could have gotten more than Lowrie and Rodriguez.  

Lowrie could be given a chance to earn a starting spot out of spring training at second base, where the A's have an opening after losing Cliff Pennington and with how Jemile Weeks struggled in 2012.

To Lowrie's credit, he is coming off a season in which he set a career high in homers, runs, walks and games played.  Also, Lowrie had an on-base percentage of .331, and we know how Billy Beane likes guys who get on base.

Perhaps being a part of a better lineup will help Lowrie.  He will have better players with him than he did last year with the Astros—the worst team in baseball in 2012.  

After how much the A's were criticized by the baseball world for the trades they made last year, I will give the players that Beane acquired here a chance to prove themselves.