More good news from Orlando this morning. Nick Cafardo reports the Yankees do not believe they have a shot at signing Mike Lowell:
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman both commented yesterday that they will have to make a deal for a third baseman to replace Alex Rodriguez, the insinuation being that they expect Lowell, the top third baseman on the market after A-Rod, to stay put. …
Sources familiar with the Lowell negotiations indicate that the popular third baseman – who officially filed for free agency yesterday – would need a third year guaranteed, and if he gets it, he’s likely to take a hometown discount.
Of course, it’s not a done deal yet, but this reminds me again how much different this front office is from the Red Sox management of my youth, when every offseason seemed to be rife with contention between free agents and then-General Manager Dan Duquette. Mo Vaughn, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco and John Valentin — the four stars of the division-winning 1995 club — all had bitter, protracted offseason negotiations over the next two years.
Aside from the consternation and frustration they caused the ticket-buying public, such negotiations left Boston a place where few star athletes wanted to come play. It’s to the credit of the current ownership group and Theo Epstein that players like Tim Wakefield, Curt Schilling and possibly even Mike Lowell are even willing to take discounts because they enjoy playing for the Red Sox so much.
Ten years ago, that was unthinkable.