Oakland A’s Could Emerge as Potential Trade Partner for Mets

jed lowrie

Update (5/3/2014):

MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Athletics are likely to either deal for starting pitching or move Drew Pomeranz to the rotation. With both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the Athletics have had to rely on youngster Sonny Gray and veteran Scott Kazmir to lead the rotation. So far those two, along with Jesse Chavez, have delivered but Dan Straily, Tommy Milone and Josh Lindblom have all struggled.

The Athletics are currently leading the American League West with an 18-11 record; good enough for two games in front of the Texas Rangers. The fact that the Athletics appear interested in dealing for starting pitching tells you that they believe they can compete in that division.

Top prospect Addison Russell is currently down with a hamstring tear, which might make the A’s hesitant to deal current shortstop Jed Lowrie. Regardless, the Athletics appear to want starting pitching and the Mets have it so it will be interesting to see if they engage in any kind of trade talks.

Original Post:

With ulnar collateral ligament tears occurring at higher rates than the common cold, it seems like every team is holding their breath, hoping their projected rotation stays intact as opening day approaches. The Oakland Athletics’ Jarrod Parker is the most recent pitcher to eventually have to succumb to the knife of Dr. James Andrews.

With Jarrod Parker down for at least the 2014 regular season and A.J. Griffin slated to begin the season on the disabled list, the A’s seem to be in a bit of a pickle. Scott Kazmir is also shelved, albeit only for a few days, with tricep stiffness but you just never know with arm maladies anymore.

If you include Kazmir, the A’s are expected to go into the season with a starting rotation that could include names such as Sonny GrayDan StrailyTommy MiloneJesse ChavezDrew Pomeranz, as well as Kazmir himself. Although Sonny Gray is a promising youngster with a seemingly bright future and the A’s can somewhat rely on Kazmir and Milone to put up respectable numbers, it seems they lack a go-to pitcher that can round out the rotation; a necessary asset for a borderline playoff caliber team to have.

With the Oakland Athletics only coming in at number 26 on Keith Law’s organizational farm system rankings, it does not seem like they have the ability to address that need within the organization. This is where the Mets come in. With Jon Niese recently receiving the good news that his elbow is [apparently] fine and Ruben Tejada being Ruben Tejada, the Mets still seem to be in a position to deal some pitching to address the ever so obvious shortstop dilemma.

The news of Parker’s second Tommy John surgery may have added another potential trade partner to the mix. The A’s currently have Jed Lowrie as their opening day shortstop on the big club and Addison Russell polishing up his extraordinary tools in AAA, supposedly waiting to take over the reigns.

While it would be incredibly sweet for the Mets to swing a deal for MLB.com’s number 12 ranked prospect, Addison Russell, the A’s would most likely demand a hefty package for their future All Star and shortstop heir. It would undoubtedly take at least Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler to acquire him and, although I think Russell is worth it for an even swap of either of those two, it might take even more.

Lowrie is probably a more realistic option as he is in his last year of arbitration and set to hit free agency in 2015. With the A’s increased need for pitching, it may cause them to attempt to deal Lowrie earlier than they planned and rush Russell to the majors. If that is the case, the Mets should certainly be in contact with Billy Beane for a potential deal. The plethora of young, inexpensive arms the mets boast as well as a proven pitcher like Dillon Gee could appear very attractive to him at the moment.

I profiled Lowrie way back in December in a post that addressed potential trade routes the Mets could take to address their need at shortstop. He’s nothing spectacular on defense and he’s had significant trouble staying healthy in the past but he put up very impressive numbers last season, slashing .290/.344/.446 with 15 home runs in 154 games, which would automatically be an upgrade over anything the Mets would put out there this season. He’s also relatively inexpensive, if only for this season as he’s only making $5.25 million. If the Mets should make a deal,  they could try to extend him for a few seasons until they feel prospects such as Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario are ready.

Addison Russell is certainly the more attractive option here and I think the Mets should go all in for him if the opportunity arises and his price isn’t outrageous. However, in all likelihood, it will be  – due to his status as a potential All Star at a premium position. If Lowrie does become a realistic target before opening day or shortly after the season begins, the Mets have one more option to alleviate not only the shortstop dilemma, but answer the leadoff question as well. Regardless, it will certainly be interesting to see if the Athletics do, in fact, look to the trade market for a starting pitcher to replace Jarrod Parker.

Presented By Diehards

  • TC’s talking head

    We don’t need 100 starting pitchers in the organization. Trade some of them for offense for gods sake!!!! DeGrom, Muno, and a late pick for Lowrie. Seem fair enough?

  • KMO82

    Cant trade picks.

  • $14435385

    The only way you deal anything for Lowrie is if you get an extension window. He’s not the difference between them making or not making the playoffs this year….plus, you can’t trade picks.

  • Tommy Med

    Oakland is doing really well. I guess they would move Lowrie but who would replace him since Russell is out for the year? Oakland doesnt have too many pieces i would be intersted in to move a SP except Cespedes and Lowrie

  • TC’s talking head

    my bad w/the pick idea. every other sport I know allows it. Still, they should get the deal done and get an extension done immediately!

  • TC’s talking head

    Then give them Flores, Reynolds, or Tovar with a starting pitcher. I dont care who it is. WE NEED A REAL SS.

  • Destry

    Lowrie isnt going anywhere. Hes getting a QO after the season. If anything Lowrie plays 2B this year IF Russell gsts called up this year.

  • is there a market for Starlin Castro?

  • Destry

    Ha. For 3 months of Lowrie? Hes a free agent at seasons end

  • WillisReid

    So the best possible scenario here is the Mets ending up with a top SS prospect recovering from a surgically repaired hamstring.

  • Guest

    I SAID I GUESS . IF it was Lowrie for Degrom i would do it and sign lowrie

  • Tommy Med

    exactly…thats why i dont even think oakland is a good trading partner for us

  • TC’s talking head

    Get an extension done obviously.

  • mets4lyfe

    This doesn’t have much to do with the article, but I’ve noticed that Billy Beane always looks to construct a a solid bullpen as evident by the trade for Jim Johnson and Luke Gregerson. He knows a good bullpen nowadays makes a huge difference when it comes to challenging for a playoff spot. Of course, relief pitching is never a sure thing and are susceptible to volatility, but it doesn’t hurt to stockpile quality arms in the bullpen.

  • Tommy Med

    hes having a great season. so his trade value is back to where it was pretty much. Baez might even move to 2B. but if not then he would def be a solid move for the Mets cuz the Cubs need pitching

  • ray sadecki

    What about Flores?

  • Montero and a throw in for Russell. DO IT

  • Chuck

    1) You can’t trade injured players, 2) So they often become PTBNL, and 3) You have to complete trades within 6 months (correct me if I’m wrong on this). So … how long will Addison Russell be out for? Did he have surgery? I can’t find any reference that he did.

  • oleosmirf

    The A’s are the reigning AL West Champs and the second best team in the AL right now.

    They are not going to trade one of their key contributors in a year they are poised to win 90 games. When Russell is healthy they will promote him, move he or Lowrie to 2B and continue on to the playoffs.

    They are not going to weaken their team just because they have a short-term need in the rotation.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Yep. If they get pitching help, it will be from a team that is willing to take high-upside, not-ML-ready prospects.

  • MetsfanInParadise

    Matt Reynolds. But Russell is injured AND hasn’t played above AA, and we need a ML-ready SS. I would make that trade for someone we could plug in NOW. The Red Sox didn’t blink when they traded a stud prospect at SS for Josh Beckett, who helped them win a WS, even though the prospect was Hanley Ramirez. Trade a top prospect for a ML-proven heavyweight.

  • pastline63

    Never trade high for a possible rental.

  • Waz0787

    Niese for russell

  • Waz0787

    Gee to angels for cron and cowart.

  • skyking26

    Billy Beane we got a couple of money ball players for you named Duda and Tejada.

  • Anthony

    No ss no trade

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    God no…..Lowrie is terrible.

    One of the worst defenders at SS and is injury prone. Id rather see Tejada than give up anything of value for Lowrie.

    We might as well play Flores if defense isnt a priority at SS

  • Anthony

    He can hit a little

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Yeah but Im sure flores can hit as well or better in his rookie season.

  • billpulsipher

    sandys goal is just to get everyone on the As and bring them here lol

  • metsman

    Jed Lowrie? The only player that could make aquiring Drew seem like a good idea. Here Oakland have Syndargaard and Nimmo.

  • Mario Gonzalez

    If only this!?!?!?!?

  • Mario Gonzalez

    You’re sold on Matt Reynolds?

  • Waz0787

    I would give them ynoa. And lara.

  • WillisReid

    I guess the idea would be an extension for Lowrie, making it an even worse idea. So why not Drew and keep the kids?

  • Waz0787

    Mets FO is. They picked him and previous post made it clear flores will not be mets SS according to our front office

  • metsman

    I’m good with going with what we have. Both Lowrie and Drew seem like half measures to me….either do something drastic or do nothing at all; I’m tired of watching this FO rearrange the deck chairs on the titanic.

  • MetsfanInParadise

    Doesn’t matter. Only matters what a trade partner thinks. Just saying, give up an at least average SS prospect and a top pitching prospect to get a stud SS prospect. Or Reynolds and Wheeler for a ML-ready SS. Is there someone else you’d suggest?

  • sperry

    Remember when they brought in Art Howe everybody was talking about how he would convince guys like Chavez and Tejada and the big 3 to come over

  • beers22

    Not sure where you’re seeing that as the asking price.

  • beers22

    It’s weird that the A’s are actually a better offensive club than a pitching one and are still winning despite the pitching issues. And you’re right, there’s no way they are trading any assets that can continue that success. It’ll be interesting to see what they do if they start to hover around .500 or worse towards the deadline, and by that time who knows what the pitching will be like. Lowrie would be a good fit for the Mets at the right price, but it doesn’t really make sense from the A’s perspective.

  • Honestly…what do the Mets have to lose bringing up Flores and giving him a month at SS?? IF…it is so bad that his bat can’t cover for it, sign Drew in June to a one year pro-rated deal. He’s motivated to earn a bigger contract, and we only have him for the short-term…longer if he’s good and we can actually afford it (big Ifs probably).

  • oltl

    “if defense isn’t a priority at SS” Only the mets think like this. Cards, Braves, good teams, don’t ever think this. Although it is a good way to make your good starters mediocre starters.

  • metsman

    Whatever the asking price is it’s not worth it, and that’s my hyperbolic way of saying that. Esssentialy we would be helping them get alot better so we could become questionably/marginally better in the short term

  • Skip

    Think they would take Colon back for a couple prospects????

  • beers22

    gotcha, I think he provides enough offense and adequate proven defense that he’s worth a reasonable price tag, and could help the team over the next couple years. I’m also optimistic that might matter this year.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Colon for lowrie

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Lowrie is actually a good hitter

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Lolol

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Oak wont do that

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Sure is beaz is coming, and will be real good

  • mad met

    Are u nuts .i want offense as bad ad anyone but degrom is a beast and muno??

  • derek murphy

    Gee 4 Russell.

  • derek murphy

    If at any point this season they could trade colon 4 anything decent they should be all over it. Colon is old he relies on 1 pitch and throws it 85% of the time. Good hitting teams should be all over him and I see a couple more big numbers getting hung on him. DeGrom is ready to pitch in the majors and might beat Thor n Montero. However, ever since Backman challenged Thor to be aggressive he’s been much better.

    Right now we have some major question marks in our rotation. Dice k I’m sure could be an above average starter if he got some run. Mejia is starting to look like a reliever. Farnsworth and valverde have got to go. How much do they have to get jacked up before we move on. DeGrom and Syndergaard should be brought up and we should get to see our best young players.

    Watching the marlins play gets me upset. They are the poorest worst run franchise in the majors. Every year they promote there kids aggressively. They put the most talented players on the field. They have no problems calling up a player from double a or someone w little experience. We could call up Flores and put him at SS. Tejada can back up SS n 2b. Then u get to cut q that’s a win-win. They can call up Campbell he can be a super utility guy n right hander to replace satin. Syndergaard and DeGrom should be called up immedietly. For some reason if we can’t trade an arm in a package for a clean up hitter than put DeGrom in the pen, Montero can also be called up and put in the pen. Mejia better get it turned around or he will be headed the pen. Lots of people have said mejia should be closer I wasn’t one of them. However, the last cple of games got me wondering. Play our best players n good things will happen no more AARP

  • Terry

    Meija struggles in two games and all of you are ready to give up on him and throw him in the bullpen. Just forget what he did before that. HE’S a KID going through his first real season. It’s going to be a bit of a rollercoaster. Some of the comments made here just kill me.

  • Terry

    “Syndergaard and DeGrom should be called up immedietly.” This is plain dumb too and not because you misspelled immediately. You want to waste a year of service time for a few weeks for a team going nowhere? Yeah, that makes sense.

  • Terry

    Agree!

  • DrDooby

    This. Wheeler & Mejia have blazing stuff. The Mets will sink or swim with these two for a while. It´s good to know there´s a lot more in the pipeline. But both have done mostly well this year and now got into trouble at Coors Field.

  • DrDooby

    DeGrom should be up. He looks ready and is 25 years old. You can break him in in the bullpen where he can be used for multiple innings at a time, making either Germen or Torres more destined for the “couple of outs” role again. He´s also on the 40-man roster already.
    Syndergaard & Montero are younger and aren´t on the 40-man roster yet. And haven´t been as dominating as DeGrom at AAA as good as they´ve been. No reason to start their clock prematurely. If a rotation spots open due to injury or trade, then bring them up. For now, I´d leave these two in the Vegas rotation till at least late June…

  • DrDooby

    Lol.
    That´s about as likely as Asdrubal Cabrera for Noah Syndergaard.

  • DrDooby

    …and the Mets pick up the salary ?
    The A´s have a similar payroll to the Mets and – unlike the Mets – do not have tremendous revenue upside. The odds that the Mets are sporting a 125 million payroll in 2015 or 2016 are a lot higher than the A´s sporting such a payroll anytime soon (if ever).

  • DrDooby

    Don´t fall into the PCL or California League hitting stats trap with Cron. He´s – at best – a RHH version of Ike Davis.
    Unlikely that he´s better than Duda. I´d rather have Wilmer Flores at 1b than Cron.
    The Mets desperately need a SS. If you trade Gee or any of the other bigger arms, it´s either for a legit SS or for an impact bat. Not for 2nd tier prospects.

  • DrDooby

    If the “throw-in” is Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Jenrry Mejia or Dillon Gee, it may be tempting for the A´s.

  • Dark HelMet

    Seriously. Mejia is filthy and is still learning.

  • Dark HelMet

    He doesn’t rely on one pitch. That’s not fair. He just throws fastballs, yes, but he’s got many types of fastballs, and with varying speeds.

  • Dark HelMet

    Bro, Degrom looks good, yea, but if you’re not willing to trade our Tier 2 guys, then you gotta loosen your grip.

  • DejaVu

    …Which is what The Mets always do….hence, the success of the A’s compared to the Mets.