Mike Lowell, still a member of the Red Sox.
by SF on December 20, 2009 at 6:36 am in
General Red Sox · 24 comments
Wow, people here really care a lot about the Sox’ third base situation, huh? :-)
I’m curious how the Sox didn’t know about the severity of Lowell’s thumb injury. That seems like a problem. Lowell apparently told them it hurt, but I guess everyone thought it would get better with rest…
So we’ve got a third baseman with a bad hip and a hitter with a bad thumb. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. I still think we’ll see Adrian Beltre out there when it’s all said and done.
Paul SF December 21, 2009 at 9:23 am
I was thinking the same things, Paul. If he needed surgery, why not have it done in October rather than now? It’s a two month rehab (reported), so I’m curious as to the reason for the wait.
I’m really hoping for Beltre as well. Let Lowell get the surgery, rehab, and provide some kind of insurance after the season starts.
Brad December 21, 2009 at 9:36 am
Is it within reason to think that if the Sox can’t move Lowell they will simply eat the contract and move on? It’s what I have been thinking all along, but wanted your take Sox guys. Why he didn’t have the surgery sooner and rehab it sooner makes no sense, this is your well being as well as the thing you love to do…how do you let that fall to the back burner?
Also a few random baseball questions:
If the Yankees were able to get Nick Johnson for $5.5 million, why didn’t the Mets make an offer to him? Seems like a perfect fit, both money wise and position wise. Now there are rumors that they want DeRosa and are thinking about moving him to 1B full time? Meanwhile Adam LaRoche is still out there. But they are too busy with Bay and Molina. It just seems like Minaya is a** backwards all of the time. He made three solid moves, tying up Reyes and Wright long term on the cheap and trading for Santana for next to nothing. He screwed up the Milledge and Heilman for Manny trade that was nearly done, he signs Oliver Perez to an awful contract, etc…Not that I want the Mets to compete, but jeez!
With all the technology and medical advancements how is it possible that neither Erik Bedard, his agent or the Mariners (they are in contact with him constantly apparently because they were his last team and still have ties to him) know when he will be ready? Wouldn’t it be in his best interest to have this point KNOWN?
Sometimes I don’t get this time of the year.
John - YF December 21, 2009 at 11:09 am
John – the Mets probably did make an offer to him. But if you had the choice between going to the Mets, who are a long shot to even make the playoffs, and who have a field that depresses offense, and your original team the Yankees, who are arguably favorites to win it all, and who play in a park that boosts LHH offensive numbers, what would you choose?
AndrewYF December 21, 2009 at 11:24 am
not sure how often a trade is cancelled for medical reasons, but it seems [to me] like it doesn’t happen too often…i’m a little surprised that the sox didn’t know the severity of the injury, but i don’t want to speculate…i don’t see this as much of an impact to the sox since they weren’t getting much in return anyway, and had already agreed to eat all but $3m of lowell’s contract…so, while maybe not a trivial sum in some circles, another $3m is probably not a big deal to the sox…the biggest downside i see is that how many times can they “tell” lowell they don’t want him without it beginning to give him a complex…
dc December 21, 2009 at 11:42 am
I’m not sure that the Red Sox are in any position to just DFA him, John. I think in a worst case scenario, they keep him on the bench to serve as a platoon guy/insurance for Papi. If Tito had a guy like Lowell on the bench last year, we wouldn’t have had to put up with Ortiz’ horrific start to the year, as Lowell could have been used.
It’s really no different than having Nick Johnson on the bench: good hitter, limited range, catches what’s hit to him, but knows his role, and whatever you get from him is more than you expected. Not meant as a slight on NJ at all, but the two have very similar roles at this point. Both will DH a few times a week, both will play the field every now and then, and both are capable of putting up good offensive numbers.
I can’t imagine any scenario where Boston starts the season with Lowell in the field. If they do, something went wrong.
Brad December 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm
“Not meant as a slight on NJ at all, but the two have very similar roles at this point. Both will DH a few times a week, both will play the field every now and then, and both are capable of putting up good offensive numbers.”
This is crazy talk, Brad. The Yanks have signed Johnson to be the DH. The Sox already have one. The Sox are trying to unload Lowell because they do not have a role for him.
Nick-YF December 21, 2009 at 8:24 pm
Brad, Mike Lowell got on base at a .337 clip last year and OPSed .811. Johnson gets on base at much higher clip, and had a higher OPS in not-Fenway. Johnson is, at least raw numbers-wise, the better hitter, somewhat clearly at this point.
That being said, I agree – I don’t see the Sox DFA’ing Lowell, if he comes back healthy he will be traded before that happens, someone will want him, especially if the Sox pick up most of the tab.
SF December 21, 2009 at 8:26 pm
yeah, comparing lowell to johnson is not quite right…if only that the yanks wanted johnson, for the right price, and the sox clearly don’t want lowell…for the 2nd time, anyway…last time’s oops worked out ok with a ws mvp, but i don’t see any mvp’s in his future…
dc December 22, 2009 at 12:48 am
You guys mistook mypoint here. I wasn’t comparing them as players, but more as their role. Yes, NJ was signed as a DH, but for those days when X player needs a rest, unless it’s TEX of course, NJ isn’t going to be the DH. Of course I realize that NJ has slightly better numbers (last year anyhow), but on the whole, NJ is going to see significant bench time (as will Lowell), occasional field action (as is Lowell), and IF Ortiz struggles, a fair share of DH time.
That was my only point. Both are equally injury prone at this point, and if healthy, both will contribute to the teams success. I wasn’t comparing either of them. Just their roles. Saying that NJ is going to play five days a week the way Ortiz does is a stretch I think.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 8:22 am
Rumor is that the Yanks are about to re-aquire Javy Vasquez? If so, that’s another good move for them. This time around, all he’s needed to do is be a decent #3, not an ace. I would call that a great move for them.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 9:26 am
Then again, in the last 24 hours, the Yankees have been tied to everyone capable of throwing a baseball.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 9:27 am
sorry if i misunderstood brad…i was actually off-topic in pointing out that the yanks clearly wanted johnson, while that was probably not plan A, while the sox just as clearly didn’t feel mike fit into their plans…big difference, but irrelevant to the discussion…as for the role of each, i’m not so sure that johnson’s will be as limited as lowell’s might be…on the days tex dh’s, you’ll see johnson at 1b…otherwise he’s the dh, unless one of the old guys needs a day off from the field…i’m guessing that the sox will still try to get a 1b or 3b so they don’t have to trot lowell out there every day, and he’ll have to battle ortiz for dh at bats…since the yanks don’t have an ortiz type guy, i think that translates into more at bats for johnson v. lowell…of course injury or subsequent acquisitions could change all that…
dc December 22, 2009 at 9:34 am
8:34am: The Yankees are closing in on a deal for Vazquez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). Heyman says the Yankees will acquire Vazquez and Boone Logan for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and a prospect.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 9:43 am
Does this mean Holliday or Bay is next? Who plays left? Am I missing something with this?
SF December 22, 2009 at 9:45 am
Nope. That’s exactly what it means. No way the Yankees start a season with Granderson, Swisher and Gardner in the OF.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 9:46 am
Jeesh. Holy Crap. If they sign Holliday or Bay, and add Javy Vazquez, they’ve gotten significantly better. If they don’t sign Holliday or Bay, they’ve essentially stayed lateral on offense, and made a slight improvement in pitching situation.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 9:48 am
What’s the difference, really, between an outfield of Granderson, Swisher and Melky and an outfield of Granderson, Swisher and Gardner?
This is a great deal for them, if true. Melky is not much to give up, and Vazquez has always been a terrific pitcher, although his best years have been in the NL.
Still, at worst he’s an innings eater, which is exactly what the Yankees needed.
AndrewYF December 22, 2009 at 9:50 am
If they sign Bay or Holliday (and acquire Vazquez), their 40 man payroll will be somewhere around $230-240M, pre-luxury tax, at least according to Cot’s. So that means somewhere, fully calculated, around $265M.
SF December 22, 2009 at 9:52 am
I agree, Andrew – except with the terrific pitcher part. He is exactly what you say, an innings eater. He is a solid #4 or #5 in the AL with brief glimpses of goodness here and there, but this is a good move for them. It provides a more proven piece in the rotation than would have been had otherwise, and for what you deem, spare parts.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 9:54 am
….lly calculated, around $265M.
When has that ever mattered at all? I don’t even bother projecting when the Yankees will call enough enough. If they want Bay or Holliday, they’ll go get him and the luxury tax won’t stop it.
Brad December 22, 2009 at 9:57 am
Brad, he is a terrific pitcher. He hasn’t made less than 32 starts since 2000, his WHIP during that time has been 1.215, his K/9 8.3, and his BB/9 2.2. Those peripherals are not that much worse in the AL, even including his Yankee year. That’s a terrific pitcher, in my mind.
There were some old rumors that Ozzie Guillen absolutely hated Vazquez because he couldn’t pitch the ‘big game’. How true that is I’m not sure, since he spent the entire year as the ace for the Braves, but at least now he’ll at least be behind Sabathia. I personally think he’ll be the second-best starter in NY this season.
AndrewYF December 22, 2009 at 10:00 am
Ah, it looks like Arodys Vizcaino is also going in the deal. This makes it less of a steal, as Vizcaino was arguably the Yankees’ best pitching prospect, if you don’t like Zach McAllister. Still, I like it.
AndrewYF December 22, 2009 at 10:02 am
i’ll miss melky, but will welcome vazquez back…i’ve been rough in the past about his first stint with the yankees, but am hopeful that there will be less pressure on him this time around…he won’t be asked to be an ace…at most he’s a 3 or 4 on this team…at the time i felt like he was a bit of a choke…let’s hope i was wrong, or he’s exorcised those demons for good…
it’s only money [and not mine or yours], right guys?…
dc December 22, 2009 at 10:16 am
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