Some of our staff's quick reactions to the trade of the talented shortstop to Oakland.
Here's a sample of our staff reactions to the Jed Lowrie trade. Some, if not most of them will share on the site in bigger forms, but for now, this will get you talking about it:
Chris Carter seems like an instant upgrade to any of the other potential first basemen, though it makes me question how much of a chance Nate Freiman is really going to get this spring. First base is looking very crowded with Freiman, Carter, Brett Wallace, and Carlos Pena. Carter walks at a good rate, strikes out a ton, and hits for power. He's 26, so don't expect a ton of forward movement, but I think he becomes the immediate favorite at DH or first, possibly with Pena picking up time at first base. Wallace may get a look at third, with Dominguez and his 4% walk rate starting the season in Oklahoma City.Biggest question mark is what does this mean for the shortstop position in Houston? You've got Jake Elmore, Tyler Greene, and Marwin Gonzalez, with Villar hanging around. Spring Training is going to become very interesting at that position. It's rare that losing your best offensive piece is a positive, but with Lowrie's injury issues, it may actually end up solving more problems than it creates.The really interesting piece, for me, is Peacock. Part of the Gio Gonzalez trade, he has a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s and a good curve. He gets a lot of strikeouts and doesn't give up a ton of home runs. His numbers weren't good last year in Sacramento, but I don't put a lot of stock into PCL numbers in general, as many of the parks are very hitter friendly. I'm anticipating very good things from him, and I think he becomes a serious darkhorse candidate for the rotation out of Spring Training.
I like the trade for the Astros, and after perusing it for all of 30 minutes, I'm just not sure who I like better, Stassi or Peacock. I think Peacock may yield the most immediate help, but Stassi, longterm, might be the jewel of this trade for the Astros. He's a plus defender, with the ability to hit with some pop, and a catcher with significant pop is something the Astros haven't in … maybe forever. Carter, I'm just not sure what to think about him. If he can make enough contact, then you have to love the power potential, but that's a big IF. The most interesting thing about Carter, to me, is what his presence means for some other Astros, notably Wallace, Pena and Freiman.As for what we gave up, I liked Lowrie, but let's face it, he was brought here to flip, and now it's done. Let's also face the fact that he's had a tough time staying healthy, and it'll be interesting to see how many games he plays for Oakland this year. F-Rod, despite his faults, has a great arm, and I can see him having a much better year this year.There are risks and rewards for both sides, which makes it a pretty interesting baseball trade.
Sean aka native_astro:
#%!#!This is another smart move for the Astros in the right direction. The Astros were able to add two major league ready players that will contribute immediately in Brad Peacock and Chris Carter along with catching prospect Max Stassi.It will be interesting to see what happens at SS in Spring Training. I don't think a platoon of Marwin Gonzalez and Tyler Greene is our best option nor do I think Jake Elmore or Jonathan Villar are ready for full time duties. Don't be shocked if the Astros pick up another SS option via trade, free agency, or a waiver claim.
I am fighting the urge to call this another victory for Luhnow, because I'm not sure that it is, but I like his modus operandi. Chris Carter is a former prospect who looks a lot like a young Carlos Pena or Adam Dunn. That's a good thing, though fans should be concerned that a 35-40% strikeout rate looks possible. Speaking of strikeouts, I like the addition of Brad Peacock, who generates a ton of them - and a ton of walks. Power starter or power reliever? It will depend on his control. Max Stassi may be the prize, and his inclusion in this deal smells like Kevin Goldstein. I remember a time around 2009-2010 where nary a conversation about a catching prospect could take place on Baseball Prospectus without Goldstein comparing them to Stassi. So - three players who will probably be at least major league regulars come back to the Astros in this trade.On the other hand, I question whether or not this was the time to trade Lowrie. Could his value be higher after a healthy season? Is he worth more? And the inclusion of Fernando Rodrigeuz isn't trivial. On the third hand, Lowrie was acquired with Kyle Weiland for Mark Melancon, a decidedly average reliever. So for Melancon, Luhnow ultimately acquired two potential starters, a true DH of the future, and a truly excellent catching prospect. A good haul, but with the real possibility that the four players combined will never match Lowrie's own value by himself, much less with F Rod thrown in. Risky, risky.
I’m not sure if the trade will be end up as a winner or not. But I have to respect our GM for having the guts to make this trade. As a strictly paper trade, the three for two player deal look like a good return. . But there is a good deal of risk to this trade. Carter and Peacock strike me as boom or bust prospects. Lowrie could end up carrying the A’s to a pennant. Maybe he is the next Jeff Kent, for all we know. The safer course of action would have been to keep Lowrie and hope that he would put up big numbers and improve his stock for a mid-season trade. If Lowrie became injured, the reaction would have been “oh man, bad luck again,” rather than second guessing. If Carter and Peacock go bust, this will look like a bad trade, and Luhnow will be open to criticism. But all three prospects in the trade have the potential to be high level contributors, which could make this trade a huge win. Roll the dice.