The Red Sox have close to a full lineup of players on the disabled list, but the forgotten man in that group seems to be third baseman Mike Lowell. Prior to hitting the shelf with soreness in his surgically repaired hip, the 36-year-old Lowell hit just .213/.308/.350 in very sporadic playing time due to the presence of Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis, plus David Ortiz's resurgence.
Lowell told ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes he has given up hope that the team will release him so he can find work elsewhere.
"I don’t know if it’s specifically because I might beat them, I just don’t think they want me to go to another team while they pay my salary,’’ Lowell said. “At this point, they’re not going to get anything [in a trade]. You’re going to get a subpar prospect at best. There’s too much time left in the season, they’re not going to get money."
There is still $5.3MM left on Lowell's contract this season, after which he'll be a free agent. In his own words, Lowell will "clear waivers in two seconds" because of that salary, so the July 31st trade deadline doesn't really apply to him. The Red Sox can let his market develop in August if they want.
Lowell did back off when asked about retirement, telling WEEI.com's DJ Bean that he's "thinking short term" for the time being. Back in April he indicated that he'd almost certainly call it a career after this season.
The immediate plan is for Lowell to get a cortisone shot in his hip on Monday, then head to Triple-A Pawtucket for a rehab assignment beginning Thursday. He expects the shot to help with flexibility, and Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal says it could even allow him to play in 2011.
Despite his injury and ineffectiveness, several teams remain interested in acquiring the former World Series MVP. The Rangers have been connected to Lowell more than any other team, but the Twins, Angels, Mariners, and White Sox have also popped up as potential suitors this season. Regardless of who acquires him, the Red Sox will almost certainly have to pick up most of his salary.