The A’s announced this afternoon that they’ve exercised their $6MM club option over second baseman Jed Lowrie and also added former Athletics outfielder Mark Kotsay to their staff as a quality control coach. Kotsay was also a part of Oakland’s coaching staff in 2016 when he served as a bench coach.
The option decision on Lowrie was an easy call after the 33-year-old hit .277/.360/.448 with 14 home runs and a career-high 49 doubles for the A’s this past season. While Lowrie has long stood out as a logical on-paper trade candidate, A’s execs Billy Beane and David Forst have stated that they envision Lowrie as the team’s Opening Day second baseman next year. Lowrie, then, would likely be leaned upon to stabilize the position until top prospect Franklin Barreto forced his way into a regular role on the Major League roster. As it stands, Barreto is almost certain to open the 2018 season in Triple-A, despite the fact that he did make his MLB debut earlier this season.
Kotsay took a leave of absence from the A’s back in June but will return to the staff in a new role, though the specifics of his responsibilities are rather nebulous. Per Oakland’s press release, Kotsay will assist manager Bob Melvin and the coaching staff “in all areas and will also consult with the front office in other facets of the organization. “