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Astros roster moves: Houston trades Jed Lowrie to Athletics

The former free agent signee is headed back to Oakland. Maybe they can get Chris Carter, Max Stassi and Brad Peacock in return.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros have traded one of their big free agent prizes from a year ago. Houston sent utility infielder Jed Lowrie to the Oakland Athletics for minor league pitcher Brendan McCurry.

Lowrie hit .222/.312/.400 in 69 (nice) games with the Astros this year, his return to the team. Lowrie signed a three-year, $23 million deal with the Astros that includes an option year in 2018. The 31-year-old was set to make $7.5 million in 2016 and $6.5 million in 2017.

McCurry, 23, was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft by Oakland and has reached Double-A. The right-handed reliever has struck out 23 percent of the batters he's faced in his minor league career and had an ERA under 2.00 last season in over 60 innings.

Lowrie was injured early in the season, leading to Carlos Correa's debut in early June. Once the former No. 1 overall pick was in the majors, Lowrie lost his starting shortstop job, but still played in 50 games and had 170 plate appearances in the second half.

The former shortstop was traded to Houston originally in 2012 from the Red Sox in a package for then-Astros closer Mark Melancon. He was then sent to Oakland in Feb. 2013 in a deal for Chris Carter, Max Stassi and Brad Peacock. After becoming a free agent last winter, Lowrie signed a three-year deal to return to Houston. When reached by Brian McTaggart, Lowrie didn't sound thrilled to be headed out of town so soon.

Compare that to this quote from Lowrie when he was originally traded to Oakland, from this ESPN article on the deal.

"Considering everyone had pegged either the Rangers or Angels to win it, it was a great story to watch from a distance," Lowrie said. "It's a group of young guys that obviously knows how to win. Hopefully, we'll just continue to get better."

More on this as it develops. Until then, what do you think? Is this how you saw the Astros thinning out their roster? Was this inevitable once Correa ascended?