Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal broke down the options for the Red Sox in regards to veteran Mike Lowell headed into the 2010 season. Lowell posted a .290/.337/.474 line in 484 plate appearances with Boston last season and stayed off of the disabled list following hip surgery last fall.
Lowell has one year left on his Boston deal that will pay him $12MM in 2010, a price tag high enough to scare off any potential trade suitors unless the Sox were willing to cover some of the cost. There's also the added complication of Lowell's no-trade clause in his contract. Barbarisi suggests that Lowell might agree to be dealt to a National League team where he could play every day, but given Lowell's health history, it might be hard to find a club willing to take a 36-year-old with a lengthy injury history as an everyday third baseman without the safety net of the DH position. Lowell himself admitted to Barbarisi that he tired from playing almost every day in the first half of the season, but then also said that he wished he could have played more in August and September when Kevin Youkilis took a big chunk of the playing time at third base.
One intriguing possible trade partner could be St. Louis. Midseason pickup Mark DeRosa is a free agent and will soon be undergoing wrist surgery, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. This leaves the Cardinals with a hole at third base should top prospect David Freese (a .931 OPS in Triple-A, Double-A and Rookie League ball last season and an .837 OPS in 34 plate appearances with St. Louis) not be ready to take over the everyday role next season. Lowell could keep the seat warm for Freese if Boston pays part of Lowell's contract, a condition that the Cards would likely insist upon given that they will explore re-signing Matt Holliday and signing Albert Pujols to an extension this off-season.
What do you think? Should the Red Sox think about moving the 2007 World Series MVP, or should they keep Lowell around to provide depth to the Victor Martinez-Casey Kotchman-Youkilis triad that mans the catcher, first base and third base spots?