Astros' return for Lowrie not quite enough

Updated: February 4, 2013, 11:15 PM ET
By Keith Law

In acquiring Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros in a five-player deal, the Oakland Athletics get a starting shortstop at reasonable financial cost -- just $2.4 million for this year -- while the Astros add three young players with some value but no star potential.

The A's have a lot of flexibility in how they use Lowrie, who can play second, short, or third, with second his ideal position. Coincidentally, that's a giant black hole for Oakland right now, since their second basemen hit an aggregate .228/.303/.316 last year, which Baseball Reference says is most similar to the performance of a ferret on Xanax.