Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald talked to some scouts present at Boston's spring training game with Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and reports that the scouts are skeptical of Mike Lowell's ability to play in the field or swing the bat in the wake of the veteran infielder's numerous injury problems.
Lauber quotes an unnamed NL scout who says "how [Lowell] looked today, I would not have any interest in him…I don’t think he’s moving very well at all. Right now, his swing is very upper-body dominant. I don’t think he’s popping his hips or using his legs very much."
While Lauber admits that Lowell hasn't had enough field time for scouts to make a full evaluation on his health, any indication that Lowell isn't able to play a position will certainly hurt his trade value, especially to National League clubs. We've heard that Florida has looked into re-acquiring Lowell, but Lauber hears from a source that “the club’s interest is 'minimal at best.' ”
Boston has been trying to deal Lowell for months, and had a trade worked out with Texas in December before it was discovered that Lowell needed thumb surgery. Not only is Lowell an expensive bench option, but his continued presence is holding up some of Boston's other moves. ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes writes that the Red Sox are in need of shortstop depth and "have communicated to other teams that they're in the market for a backup at short, but there's no spot unless Lowell goes."
Given that the Sox will surely have to eat a big piece of Lowell's $12MM contract for 2010 in any trade, they might be forced to pay the whole price and release Lowell to free up roster space.