OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — More than worrying about the daunting task of trying to replace All-Star Josh Donaldson or dwelling on the shock of being traded from Toronto, Brett Lawrie is embracing the idea of staying healthy as he joins the Oakland Athletics.
Bidding farewell to the Blue Jays’ unforgiving turf field could be a big benefit for his body moving forward, too.
“(It) treats my body kind of silly and throws it off,” he said, noting now, “It’s grass and dirt. I’m excited.”.
Oakland’s new third baseman was acquired in a trade from Toronto on Friday night that sent Donaldson to the Blue Jays. Also coming to the A’s in the deal were left-hander Sean Nolin, right-hander Kendall Graveman and minor league shortstop Franklin Barreto.
Lawrie missed a call from Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, then quickly called back to learn he had been traded.
“I was kind of at a loss for words to be honest with you. I didn’t really know what to say, it happened so fast,” Lawrie said. “It’s almost like I was dreaming.”.
Lawrie wants nothing more than to stay on the field, and figures if that happens the rest will take care of itself. He acknowledges he’s had his share of bad luck, and playing on turf didn’t do him any favors as a player who is constantly moving and cutting.
“Give me 550 at-bats in a row. These are things I haven’t had yet in the big leagues,” he said.
He didn’t play again after Aug. 5 following a left oblique strain he suffered in his return after being sidelined for more than a month with a broken right index finger.
It marked the third oblique injury of Lawrie’s four-year career. He strained his left oblique in a warmup game for the 2013 World Baseball Classic in March 2013, missing the first 14 games of the season. Lawrie also missed almost a month with a right oblique strain in late 2012.
The 24-year-old Lawrie, who grew up in British Columbia, has already been on the disabled list six times.
“For myself it’s about staying healthy and getting a substantial amount of playing time. It’s a new chapter,” he said. “This is a team that likes to win. I haven’t been on that side of the coin. I am a big piece of this puzzle, I feel like.”.
Lawrie was a first-round pick by the Brewers at No. 16 overall in the 2008 draft. Traded to Toronto in December 2010, Lawrie made his major league debut Aug. 5, 2011. He played 125 games in 2012 and 107 in ’13 before this past season was cut short.
Now, he is gearing up to be at full strength for the start of spring training in 2½ months at Oakland’s new Arizona home in Mesa.
“All signs point toward 100 percent,” Lawrie said. “I feel great.”.