Programming note: Get up to date on all the latest offseason A’s news on the Hot Stove Show, Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
The rumor mill is churning early this offseason, and the Oakland A’s surfaced Tuesday in speculation coming out of the general managers’ meetings in Florida.
Longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons reports that the St. Louis Cardinals are interested in trading for A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie.
It’s no secret that the Cardinals are shopping for a shortstop – they’ve also been linked to Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki and Texas’ Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar among others. But hearing Lowrie’s name come up is a surprise from the Oakland perspective.
The switch hitter was an integral part of the A’s march to a second straight American League West title in 2013. He hit .290 with 15 home runs, 75 RBI and ranked second in the league with 45 doubles. Also important for the cost-conscious A’s, the 29-year-old Lowrie is under team control for 2014 and will make an affordable salary in his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Consider that the A’s do not have a suitable everyday shortstop option should they deal away Lowrie. Gammons’ report mentioned that the team’s top prospect, Addison Russell, could be plugged in at shortstop next season. But surely the A’s won’t rush Russell, still 19, and sacrifice his development. It figures he needs more seasoning at Triple-A Sacramento, though a call-up at some point in 2014 is possible.
Besides Lowrie, Eric Sogard and Andy Parrino are the only infielders on the A’s current 40-man roster who can play shortstop, but neither can be considered an ideal everyday option.