The Athletics talked to the Astros about a possible trade involving Jed Lowrie earlier this winter, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The A's weren't prepared to meet Houston's asking price of both Chris Carter and a young pitcher in exchange for Lowrie, who has drawn interest from several teams this winter. Hiroyuki Nakajima has since been signed and is slated to be Oakland's regular shortstop, though Slusser speculates that the A's could revisit Lowrie if they develop a need for an infielder during the season.
Lowrie was limited to 387 plate appearances last season due to DL stints with ankle and thumb injuries, and .244/.331/.438 with 16 homers in his first season in Houston. He was arb-eligible for the second time this winter, avoiding the process by agreeing to a one-year, $2.4MM deal with the Astros.
The A's could also add depth at shortstop in the form of Cuban prospect Aledmys Diaz, as Slusser reports the club will have scouts at Diaz's workout later this month. At least ten teams (including the Twins and Cardinals) are known to be interested in Diaz, a 23-year-old who can be signed without having his salary count against the international signing cap.