Today’s physical in Arlington came up with a radial collateral ligament
tear in Mike Lowell‘s right thumb. Some Red Sox fans feel this is a
bad situation, whereas others are jumping for joy now that Lowell is sticking around
in Boston. He is scheduled for surgery just after Christmas, and should be out for
6-8 weeks. In other words, he should be healthy for Spring Training, and while his
throwing programs may be halted, the rest of his training program should be able to
go on as per usual, preventing him from a long recovery. Personally, I see this as a
blessing in disguise, and this is my reasoning:
Lowell comes back in Spring Training and gets traded some time into the
year: If this happens, either we can make the trade for Max
Ramirez again, as double jeopardy doesn’t apply in baseball, or Epstein
could look to another team that needs a decent DH. His value should be higher if
Boston will still front the bill and he has proven himself to be healthy. If Max
Ramirez was indeed a potential trading piece for Adrian Gonzalez,
Epstein will find another way to get the prospect, or he will rearrange his
bargaining chips and find another way to Gonzalez.
Lowell comes back in Spring Training and stays with Boston for the entirety
of the year, playing 3B: If this happens, Boston keeps the offensive
power of Lowell, while sacrificing the speed he lost last year, and taking a risk with
his rumored decrease in defensive ability (which could become increasingly more
true if his hip gets any worse). With the increased defense on the left side thanks
to Marco Scutaro and Mike Cameron/Jacoby Ellsbury, it
shouldn’t be TOO much of a problem for the team. Who knows, maybe he’ll pull
the hidden ball trick out of his hat a couple times this season to make up for his
lack of physical ability (he’s
done it twice before, afterall).
Lowell proves to be a liability in the field and sits on the bench: If
this happens, either Casey Kotchman becomes an everyday starter at
first and Lowell sits on the bench, or Epstein has to work out a trade for a decent
corner infielder during the season. The best way to account for this is to find said
corner infielder before the beginning of the season and make Lowell work for a
starting spot. However, I’m happy with Kotchman as a defensive replacement if
Lowell doesn’t work out, as his strong defense will solidify the infield.
Lowell turns into a part-time player in the field: If this occurs,
Lowell would play fewer games, meaning Kevin Youkilis would play 3B
on occasion while either Kotchman or Victor Martinez would find more
time at 1B, potentially meaning Jason Varitek could find more time behind
the plate. While I don’t feel Varitek should be behind the plate any more than
necessary, it’s not a terrible alternative if Lowell can’t play everyday anymore.
Lowell could also be used off the bench as a pinch hitter in crucial situations,
which we all know he tends to thrive in.
Lowell platoons with David Ortiz as the DH: It was proven
last year that Ortiz sometimes has trouble with quality pitching nowadays, so why
not sit Lowell on the bench and use him against certain starters, or LH pitchers?
Platooning these two players gives you the most optimal DH situation every game,
and leaves a power hitter on the bench in case you need that bat later on in a
game. Also, with Lowell being a DH, you get the capability of platooning him at 3B
whenever someone else needs a day off, while keeping him fresh as well.
In my mind, the only bad thing that can come from this is that you’re stick with a $12
Million man sitting on your bench and/or eating up a spot on your 25-Man Roster that
could be used for another arm in the bullpen or a more capable utility fielder.
Although, the 25-Man Roster can be altered throughout the season, and others will
almost definitely get injured, so it’s not really an issue.
As you can see, it’s win-win for everyone in Red Sox Nation.
6:04pm EST: Theo Epstein doesn’t expect any kind of blockbuster move
before the meetings end, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Epstein
– “I don’t think we’ll make a blockbuster between now and (leaving) …
Something small could come up.” Also, talks haven’t progressed with
Jason Bay‘s representatives. Epstein – “Those guys are off doing their
According to Alex, Adrian Gonzalez will likely be a Padre in 2010 –
Bud Black says “Do I anticipate him being with the club in 2010?
The Red Sox reportedly met with Scott Boras, with one item on the menu
being Matt Holliday, however Jason Bay is still the club’s first choice.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox are discussing a
deal that would send Mike Lowell to Texas. Who would be coming to
Beantown at this point is suggested to be catching prospect Max
Ramirez. The deal is reported as “not close”, but is starting to heat up. As
expected, Boston’s front office would have to front a bill for a significant majority
of Lowell’s 2010 contract. Mike has also been rumored to be on the block to go
to the Cubs for Milton Bradley, although that seems rather unlikely. So
unlikely, in fact, that Ian Browne has called shenanigans on the idea.
Multiple sources report that the Red Sox have a significant interest in free agent
Adrian Beltre. Because Mike Lowell will probably be traded to a team
such as Texas, a deal for Beltre is not only a real possibility, but almost a
requirement for Boston to keep a strong offense in 2010. However, Beltre’s agent
is Scott Boras, so expect life to be a relative hell in the coming weeks. The Giants
were originally thought of as being potential suitors of Beltre, but in reality they’re
looking for a short-term fix at first base and a center fielder, allowing them to
move Aaron Rowand to the corner infield.
Rob Bradford also reports that the Red Sox have not made any progress on a
Justin Duchscherer deal. They talked last on Sunday night. 11
other teams are reportedly interested in the pitcher. Maybe if the Red Sox sign
him, I’ll learn how to pronounce the Duke of Hurls’s real name properly.
- The Red Sox appear interested in Mike Cameron.
Red Sox were mentioned as forerunners for Rich Harden after he
mentioned he was willing to take a one year incentive-driven deal, but the
Rangers seemingly won the race.
- The Red Sox are not likely interested in Rafael Soriano.
Jayson Stark of ESPN says that the Red Sox have a couple teams they
could trade Mike Lowell to.
Low level interest in bringing back Coco Crisp. If you could sign him with
a clause in his contract stating that he has to get into a brawl every night with the
starting pitcher, I say go for it!
Ramon A. Ramirez claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay. Fabio
Castro signed to a one-year non-guaranteed contract.
Expect the Red Sox brass to be in Houston next week to watch Aroldis
Chapman‘s bullpen session, alongside the Yankees and Angels, at the very