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Red Sox still need a taker for Lowell

Mar 1, 2010, 5:59 PM EDT

Already almost dealt in December, Mike Lowell is a man auditioning for work this spring, though he’ll do so with the comfort of a $12 million salary and a no-trade clause that gives him some control over his destiny.
Lowell took batting practice Monday for the first time since the thumb surgery that scuttled the trade that would have sent him and $9 million of his salary to Texas for Max Ramirez. He’ll probably sit out the first bit of the spring, but he isn’t far behind the rest of the Red Sox hitters following the relatively minor procedure.
Whether there’s any real interest in Lowell this spring will probably hinge more on his defense than his offense. Lowell showed diminished range at third base after his Oct. 2008 hip surgery, and the Red Sox weren’t content to go forward with him at the position this year. If he’s moving around better this spring, then he could still function as a legitimate regular for a contender. He’s finished with OPSs of 879, 798 and 811 the last three years.
Still, the Red Sox may need someone to get hurt if they’re going to net any real return for Lowell. The Twins are still undecided at third base, but they did get their second-base upgrade and they won’t mind going with the hot hand between Nick Punto and Brendan Harris at the hot corner. Florida would be an interesting option, given that Lowell was a fan favorite there. Jorge Cantu is penciled in at third base, but he could always be moved back to first if neither Logan Morrison nor Gaby Sanchez makes a splash this spring.
The Rangers added Vladimir Guerrero after the Lowell deal fell apart. They still might have some interest in him as a bench player, but probably not for $3 million. The Blue Jays could use a fallback at third and DH, as well as a right-handed-hitting first baseman. The White Sox might be another fit. Plus, injuries could change things in a hurry. The Braves and Reds are among the teams relying on corner infielders with durability issues. The Red Sox need someone to come calling eventually, because while they could carry him if they need to, Lowell isn’t in their plans for this year.

  1. Old Gator - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    R-r-r-right, as Bill Cosby famously said. Lowell to the Feesh. Uh huh. I can just see Skinflint McLoria springing for the Texas deal. Well, maybe Lowell and $500,000 of his salary with the Beanbags finding some high yield mortgage backed securities in which to invest his other nine million while they pay the Feesh out of it. And that’s if he looks like he’s back to his 2003 mysteriously power-packed form. Nine mil won’t fly – there ain’t no flying Feesh in this pond, Bubba.
    Minnesota is a better bet if you’re looking for a fortuitous injury. Before the next interglacial period really gets underway, someone is bound to slip on an ice-slicked infield in that new cryogenic open-air facility they just got up there.

  2. t - Mar 2, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    Let’s see, an old, injured player. My Mets will sign him. He will fit right in with Escobar, Beltran, FRod, and every player not named Daniel Murphy from last year.

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