Lowrie, 30, would fill the Astros' need for an everyday shortstop while they await top prospect Carlos Correa to arrive at the big league level, but he could also play third base, which is a need. Lowrie has appeared in only 83 games at third base during his career, which began with Boston.
After a strong season with the A's in 2013, when he hit .290 with 15 homers and 75 RBIs, Lowrie batted .249 last season with six homers and 50 RBIs.
It's unclear the level of interest between the two sides, but the Astros have cast a wide net in free agency this year.
Lowrie had a highly publicized run-in with former Astros manager Bo Porter last season when Porter took offense to Lowrie's decision to bunt in his second at-bat of the first inning with Oakland leading, 7-0. Paul Clemens, who's no longer with the Astros, nearly hit him with a pitch in his next at-bat, and Porter later came out and shouted at Lowrie.
Porter was dismissed on Sept. 1 and replaced by A.J. Hinch, who, like Lowrie, attended Stanford University.
Meanwhile, the Astros had a spot on the 40-man open Monday when first baseman/outfielder Marc Krauss was claimed off waivers by the Angels.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.