Possible Destinations: Mike Lowell

Mike Lowell has thought about asking the Red Sox for his release, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com and various other reporters. The Red Sox will be paying most of Lowell's $12MM salary regardless of what the next few weeks bring, but it's time to consider some possible landing spots for the 36-year-old in case Boston trades or releases him. First, let's take stock of Lowell and what he can be expected to contribute.

After offseason thumb surgery and a knee contusion in Spring Training, Lowell's health is far from certain, especially at his age. He posted a .290/.337/.474 line last year and has hit .263/.354/.404 in 65 plate appearances so far in 2010. With one homer and eight walks, his power appears to be waning, but he's still getting on base. As for his defense, Lowell has played just 32 innings at third so far this year. Last year, he posted a UZR/150 of -14.4, which suggests he was – and probably remains – a defensive liability.

The Rangers pursued Lowell last winter, before concerns about his thumb put the deal on hold. With Vladimir Guerrero and Michael Young around, the Rangers appear set at DH and third. First baseman Justin Smoak should hit and Chris Davis and Ryan Garko are around, too, so the Rangers don't seem likely to pursue Lowell again. The Marlins were another rumored destination over the winter, but that was before Gaby Sanchez had proven he could hit in the major leagues.

Earlier in the month, a friend of Lowell's told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that Lowell would like to play for the Twins or Angels. The Twins are starting light-hitting Nick Punto, but Punto's a much more reliable choice on defense, according to UZR. Angels third baseman Brandon Wood has endured one of the slowest starts in the majors, so the Halos are one potential match.

Other possible suitors include the Mariners who need offense (but not more fading veterans) and the Orioles, who have no home runs from their first basemen. Lowell seems to fit best in the American League, where he can DH, but there don't appear to be starting jobs out there for him, unless the Orioles or Angels decide they need production now.


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29 Comments on "Possible Destinations: Mike Lowell"


5 years 2 months ago

Would be nice if the Tigers got Lowell, but he’ll probably end up with the Twins and the Tigers will again finish 2nd to the Twins in the AL Central. That’s ok, 2nd place = #1 loser!

fitz
5 years 2 months ago

I wonder what all those fans who were cheering re-sign Lowell after the World Series are saying now?

BoSoXaddict
5 years 2 months ago

“I wonder what all those fans who were cheering re-sign Lowell after the World Series are saying now?”

That they would like the team to keep him around because he can still hit?
That they would have been fine with him being our starting 3rd baseman this year instead of Beltre?
That they will be sad to see him go after all he’s done for our team?

5 years 2 months ago

Perhaps if the Red Sox trade for Berkman, the Astros could take back the burden of Lowell’s contract as a way to get better prospects. However, maybe the Red Sox don’t need Berkman anymore if Ortiz is waking up.

ELPinchy
5 years 2 months ago

They would be better off if they could get someone to play INF off the bench other than Bill Hall.

ricangelfan
5 years 2 months ago

The Angels will not trade for Mike Lowell.

ELPinchy
5 years 2 months ago

Do the O’s need production for what? Are they dying to be in 4th place?

5 years 2 months ago

LOL, yeah, that list of teams includes head-scratchers (the Orioles and then the Mariner’s are 14-24 and in last place) and it leaves out some teams that are in the post-season mix and could use an upgrade at 3B and a backup 1B (Detroit).

5 years 2 months ago

Maybe the A’s could use him as a DH?

bomberj11
5 years 2 months ago

The Red Sox don’t deserve Mikey.

KWsboundcolon
5 years 2 months ago

He’d be a good fit with the White Sox

rayking
5 years 2 months ago

Great point, the White Sox weren’t mentioned but would be a good fit. Kotsay is abysmal at DH. They aren’t giving up yet as they hope that their pitching will shape up to be as good as expected, Danks being the only starter who has pitched as well as they thought he would (arguably Freddy too).

So I could see them taking on a bit of Lowell’s salary and giving up a low grade prospect for him.

c3
5 years 2 months ago

I know that this may not make sense; but the best suitor for Lowell in my opinion are the New York Yankees. It doesn’t make sense only because it would hurt directly to the Red Sox; but taking that fact away, with the issues the Yankees have now with their DH spot on the lineup; i think Lowell fits excellent…

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

No, no, and no.

johnsilver
5 years 2 months ago

If Boston was to do something drastic and release him right now, the NYY would be one of the 1st teams to call him with the DH position in flux and Glass man Johnson supposedly coming back sometime in July, though with him, that is always in doubt.

Msforever
5 years 2 months ago

Wait, I thought that Brandon Wood was supposed to hit “30-35 bombs”.

5 years 2 months ago

Maybe they meant Jager Bombs?

Msforever
5 years 2 months ago

Haha. Nice.

bjsguess
5 years 2 months ago

I didn’t see a lot of projections guessing that Wood would hit 30-35 HR’s THIS SEASON. It’s not all that common for any rookie to hit that many bombs.

I did think that a 250 avg with 20-25 HR’s was reasonable. But he has shown nothing to suggest that a line like that will be possible this year.

The only thing that has kept me reasonably sane is the complete meltdown on the part of Figgins. Wood has been awful, but he’s playing for league minimum. It’s a little easier to swallow.

Msforever
5 years 2 months ago

Figgy’s slumping. No doubt about that. But he’s definitely not going to hit 200 for the next 4 years. He’ll come out of it soon.

Msforever
5 years 2 months ago

What are the chances Lowell just retires?

5 years 2 months ago

He has 12 million (maybe 9 million remaining) reasons not to.

BoSoXaddict
5 years 2 months ago

He has already stated publically that he is planning to retire after this season so I would say there is a decent chance assuming he’s not traded or released/picked up by another team.

Jim McGrath
5 years 2 months ago

If it’s the Yankees so be it-it would be nice for him to finish his career with the team that drafted him. If to the Yanks –they pay his full salary or we pay but get a decent prospect. Lowell as full-time DH could bring another quality guy to the bombers.
I don’t see the O’s although Camden Yard would be a nice field for him to hit in.
I could see him being moved this week to the Twins while they are at Fenway for Punto. OR Brandan Wood even up with the Sox eating all of Mike’s salary. Work Wood in as a super sub–he’s talented but not producing for the Angel’s needs. The Sox could move both Lowell and Bill Hall for either Punto or Wood.

soxfan0928
5 years 2 months ago

I honestly see Lowell as being a side piece in a deal for Cliff Lee. The deal would also include DiceK plus 1 high level prospect (Reddick, Kalish, Anderson? Just some names off the top of my head) or make it Lowell plus Buchholz plus 1 lower level prospect. Regardless, Seattle gets away with 2-3 years of a solid stick at DH/1B bc Kotchman is struggling, plus a pitcher (Dice would do well in Seattle).

Msforever
5 years 2 months ago

I don’t think the M’s would go for that. You wouldn’t be giving up any prospects in that deal and would actually be having the M’s take on more salary by throwing in DiceK and Lowell (two guys that are way past their prime).

brian310
5 years 2 months ago

i would like to see him come to the White Sox and take some at-bats away from Carlos Quentin and Teahen…maybe get a platoon goin of lowell at third and quentin as DH against lefties and teahen at third and lowell dhing…all this while the outfield stays as pierre in left, rios in center, and jones in right with the occasional spelling from quentin at the corners

bjsguess
5 years 2 months ago

Wait – the Angels are taking on Lowell for Mike Napoli? Unless it’s Lowell + some really, really good talent, I don’t see how that works for the Angels. Napoli has been awful this year but he is still posting an OPS of 750. Naps can swing it with the best of them and is worth a heck of a lot more than a guy who is about to get released (once Cameron and Ellsbury are back).

Also, Lowell should not be in the field. If a team like the M’s are interested they should be looking at him as a DH – not a 3rd baseman.

For league minimum Lowell would be a smart move for several teams. But if the Red Sox are expecting another team to pick up his salary and/or kick in talent they are going to have a tough time finding a taker.

bjsguess
5 years 2 months ago

I did read your post. Here goes the response.

— The Angels don’t miss Figgins. The guy is hitting below 200 with a SLG % around 250. He may be getting on base more than Wood but his bat is hardly “missed” – especially when you consider that Wood is basically free while Figgins will be earning $8-9m annually over the next 4 to 5 years.

— Lowell should NOT be in the field. If you can provide any evidence that he won’t be a complete sinkhole defensively I’ll be happy to listen. Also, he cannot be counted on to remain healthy. His age and injury history should worry anyone.

— The Angels are NOT set at catcher. Mathis has a career slash line of 206/280/328. He’s a fine backup catcher but that’s it. The Angels should be looking at ways to limit his AB’s – not giving him more. Wilson, also on the DL, is nothing more than a backup catcher. Useful to have on the team but not someone you want starting more than 30 games. Conger is at least a year away. Right now, Napoli is the ONLY catcher the Angels have that can be counted on.

— A vague reference to “some prospects” is a far cry from solid prospects or Jacoby Ellsbury. When you build a deal around Napoli for Lowell + some prospects it infers that the unnamed prospects are of little value – at least that’s how I read it. Anyway, here we can agree. If Naps is moved it better be for some serious talent in return. Probably not prospects though, unless the Angels fall out of contention.

— Finally, my last paragraph wasn’t directed at you. It was a general statement that if the Red Sox expect another team to pick up salary or add in solid talent that they won’t be able to move him. Lowell ONLY makes sense if he’s at league minimum (or close to it).