The Red Sox placed last night's hero, Mike Lowell, on waivers, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Lowell, who returned from a rehab assignment yesterday and promptly homered on the first pitch he saw, will not necessarily be traded. Still, he will likely clear waivers since $3.9MM remains on his 2010 contract. That's much more than teams want to commit to an infielder with ongoing hip issues, despite last night's home run.
However, the move could be a prelude to a trade. Since Lowell is likely to clear waivers, the Red Sox will presumably have the option to trade him to any MLB team. We'll know within a couple days whether a team claims Lowell and if no club makes a claim, the Red Sox will be free to deal.
At this point, Kevin Youkilis is hurt, so Lowell is a valuable piece for the banged-up Red Sox. If Youkilis returns to form and David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre are still healthy and hitting, the Red Sox could consider dealing Lowell. The Yankees, Rangers, Angels, Twins, Tigers and Blue Jays are among the teams that have reportedly shown interest in Lowell this year.
Here's our primer for August trades.