The Los Angeles Angels are among the potential suitors for A’s infielder Brett Lawrie.
There has been trade talk between the clubs regarding Lawrie, who could play second or third base for the Angels, the Orange County Register reported Monday. Los Angeles is still trying to re-sign free agent David Freese to handle third.
The A’s are expected to deal Lawrie, particularly after swinging a trade for Jed Lowrie two weeks ago, which sets up a scenario where Lowrie would take over second base duties and Danny Valencia would remain at third. The A’s appear committed to Marcus Semien at shortstop.
Oakland continues to look for both starting and relief pitching, and one player who could be available in a potential deal with the Angels is right-hander Matt Shoemaker. He finished second in the 2014 American League Rookie of the Year race, but found the going tougher in 2015, when he was 7-10 with a 4.46 ERA. It’s worth noting he was shut down in September with a forearm injury. However, Shoemaker comes with five seasons of team control and doesn’t even become eligible for arbitration until 2017, and that could appeal to the A’s.
But it remains unclear just how much the A’s can get back for Lawrie. He’s entering his age-26 season, so youth is on his side. He also enjoyed a full, healthy campaign in 2015 after injuries plagued his four-year stint with Toronto. Is that enough to convince teams his injury issues are behind him?
Lawrie’s high-energy, nonstop motor generally gets viewed as a positive, but in a 2015 season where clubhouse chemistry was an issue for the A’s, it’s known that there were concerns about how well his personality went over in his first year with Oakland.
There were similar off-field concerns about Valencia, but the A’s may feel that the offensive production Valencia showed after being claimed off waivers in August outweighs any minuses that come attached with him.
The White Sox, looking for a third baseman, are believed to be a potential match in a Lawrie trade. They’ve got pitching to offer, but their most enticing pieces might still be in the minors. Detroit and Cleveland have also been mentioned as potential suitors. But although the Tigers have discussed Lawrie, nothing appears to be brewing between Oakland and Detroit.