The Astros have pulled the trigger on dealing one of their few remaining Major League-assets, but did they come out on top or not?
The answer as always is yes and no. Yes, they were able to get a good return on a player who has never played an entire season, and also a player who is coming off a career year. On the other hand, one has to wonder if the Astros could have held onto Lowrie until the trade deadline and received more.
Chris Carter is a decent player and should provide plenty of offensive value for the Astros this year, but with Jonathan Singleton arriving soon barring anything unforeseen, he may become redundant. He could provide 20-or-so home runs and decent on-base skills, but not much on top of that.
Max Stassi could be a real get for Houston, as he was an overslot 4th Round pick by Oakland a few years back. If he can even develop into an average Major League catcher then Houston will likely win this trade, but the odds of that are certainly not favorable.
Peacock is an odd case because on one hand he is a good prospect with good stuff, but on the other hand he was terrible at Triple-A last season. The Astros Player Development staff will have a tough job on their hands, but the payoff could be nice.
Jed Lowrie is a really good player when healthy, but he has never been able to stay healthy for any extended amount of time at the Major League-level. It sounds like Oakland will move him around the diamond and if they could mix in some DH time he could possibly beat the injury bug.
He still has a few years of relatively-cheap team control left, which combined with his up-the-middle value and offensive prowess could make him a valuable cog for Oakland. He should help them to improve upon the dreadful second base tandem last season of Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington, but he should bring most of that with the bat and not the glove.
While many, myself included, will credit Houston for sticking to its rebuilding plan, one also has to wonder when it gets to a point where the business decisions are disrespecting the game. As someone who not only analyzes baseball, but loves it as well, it pains me to see a team that will not have any shot at competing for the next year or two at least. I understand that they are doing this as part of a plan to bring sustained success to Houston, but do the ends justify the means?
Whether the decision to trade Lowrie was a baseball one, a business one, or more likely a combination of both, it is hard to get too worked up over it either way.