Back to Oakland: Lowrie signs Minors deal

2018 All-Star aims for third stint with A's

February 10th, 2021

OAKLAND -- A good story often results in a satisfying trilogy. That’s what is aiming for with the A’s.

Lowrie -- who had two separate stints with the A’s from 2013-14 and ‘16-18 -- has signed on for a third. The two sides agreed to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training on Wednesday.

The reunion gives the A’s another option at second base, a position that is up for grabs after Tommy La Stella signed with the Giants earlier this offseason.

Lowrie evolved into a hitting machine during his most recent go-round with Oakland, setting a single-season Oakland record with 49 doubles in ‘17. He followed that with the first All-Star selection of his career at age 34 in an ‘18 campaign that saw him garner a few votes in American League MVP balloting after he slashed .267/.353/.448 with 23 home runs, 37 doubles and 99 RBIs.

The A’s reached the postseason for the first time in four years the last time Lowrie played in Oakland, when current franchise pillars Matt Chapman and Matt Olson were going through their first full seasons in the big leagues. Since then the club has added even more young pieces to its core, such as Jesús Luzardo and Sean Murphy, as it comes off a division title and third straight postseason appearance last season.

“That was just a matter of time. Everybody could see what these guys were capable of. I’ve been following closely, and it’s great to see the success,” Lowrie said on Wednesday afternoon on A’s Cast, the club’s 24/7 audio streaming station. “Oakland feels like home. I’m excited to rejoin this group and do what I can to help us win."

After signing a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets in ‘19, Lowrie did not live up to expectations, as a nagging injury in his left knee limited him to just nine games and eight plate appearances over the past two seasons. Now back in the organization with which he enjoyed his greatest success, the 36-year-old will look to rejuvenate his career as he enters what would be his 13th Major League season.

That rejuvenation could be aided by the surgery Lowrie underwent in October to repair his left knee.

“It’s doing much better,” he said. “I got surgery in October, and I’m well down the rehab road. I think I’m in a good place heading into Spring Training.”

Lowrie will enter camp joining a group of infielders vying for the second-base job that includes Chad Pinder, Tony Kemp and Vimael Machín. Lowrie also could be an option to get some time as the designated hitter.

Last week the A’s traded Khris Davis to the Rangers in a five-player deal, acquiring Elvis Andrus to fill their shortstop vacancy. Andrus and Lowrie, longtime AL West rivals, could theoretically end up double-play partners at some point.

 “We’ve played against each other for more than a decade now," Lowrie said. "I’m really looking forward to having the same jersey on as him and working with him every day.”

 Whatever his role, Lowrie likes his chances of bouncing back in Oakland. In 363 career games at the Coliseum, Lowrie is a .262 hitter with 88 doubles over 1,345 at-bats.

 “I think that does carry some weight. That’s real,” he said of his numbers in Oakland. “It feels like home. This is the place I’ve had the most success in my career.”