Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and GM David Forst confirmed that Jed Lowrie will be the club’s second baseman next year, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. That means they plan to pick up Lowrie’s $6 million club option for the 2018 season.
Lowrie, 33, had an outstanding year, batting .277/.360/.448 with 14 home runs, 69 RBI, and 86 runs scored in 645 plate appearances. Numbers-wise, it was his best season since 2013. Only five qualified second basemen had a higher OPS than Lowrie this season.
The Athletics have no shortage of capable middle infielders which may create a logjam during next season. As a result, Lowrie may be traded ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: