Lowell is coming back

According to Rob Bradford:

The Red Sox and Lowell have agreed to the parameters of a three-year
contract with an annual worth of “more than $12 (million) but less than
$13 (million)” according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The deal, which won’t be finalized until tomorrow, was brokered by
the Sox and Lowell’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, early this morning.

56 comments… add one
  • All right! (Not that I’m really going to celebrate until the thing is signed and official.)
    I think I might have preferred Cabrera with a lengthy extension, but considering the pieces they probably would have had to part with, and provided it’s 3 years, I think this is good. So far, we’re down nobody, solid rotation, solid lineup, solid bullpen (one never knows there, though, middle relief is so volatile), and no insane contracts in dollars or years.
    Time to shop Crisp, I assume? Bullpen arm? Part of a package for something bigger?

    Devine November 19, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • Hell yeah.
    The Sox looked dominant in the postseason, apart from a couple games with the Indians that they probably should have won.
    Their OBP-based lineup is becoming brutally effective, especially with the addition of Ellsbury’s bat and speed.
    It’s reasonable to expect Pedroia, Jacoby and Youks to to continue setting a heaping table in front of MannyOrtiz.
    The Sox defense is probably the best it’s been in my lifetime.
    And their pitching is stellar by league standards.
    So it makes sense for the Sox to largely stand pat this year.
    The main worries I have now are starting pitching, because history has shown that you can never have too much. Yeah, I’ve got great faith in Wakes, and high hopes for Lester/Clay. But Schilling and Wakes are old, the youngsters are still unproven, and if anyone gets injured or badly underperforms, the Sox are suddenly vulnerable.
    I would frankly love to see Boston land Santana at almost any cost (except Ellsbury, for whom I’m projecting Yaz-like numbers). And I definitely think the Sox have to stock up on more bullpen arms. If either Oki or Paps got hurt, the Sox are in trouble. And almost every year, there have been bullpen problems. It’s the one area where Theo seems to have trouble… If not for hitting the lottery with Oki this year, things might have been very different.

    Hudson November 19, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • Seriosly Hudson, you’d rather give up Buchholz than Ellsbury?

    yankeemonkey November 19, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • Thanks, Nick!
    Great news. Lowell either really likes Boston (and who wouldn’t?), or he really could find no suitors willing to give four years, which would be surprising.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • Yikes, Hudson. Ellsbury is nothing like Yaz. A better comp might be, say, Jose Reyes, except in the outfield and less power.

    Andrew November 19, 2007, 1:44 pm
  • For some reason, I’m not that happy about this. I really wanted the Red Sox to do something else than sign Lowell again.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 1:44 pm
  • Yeah, I’d give up Ellsbury, Lester and Bowden/Masterson for Santana, in a heartbeat. Maybe that means I’m not giving up enough?

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • I really wanted Cabrerra or a huge trade for a power hitting lefty first baseman. Oh well. I guess it’s stupid of me to complain about this, but I’m just not happy about it.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • I would have loved a Cabrera trade or some big splashy move, but the likelihood of the Sox making such a deal with both LA teams desperate for offense — far more than the Sox are — essentially nil, this was the smart, safe move. Lowrie could be the Sox 3B of the future, and Cabrera or A-Rod would have blocked him forever.
    Just came over my email from the AP:
    “Two people familiar with negotiations say Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has agreed to a three-year deal worth $37.5 million.”

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 1:49 pm
  • I really wanted Cabrerra or a huge trade for a power hitting lefty first baseman.
    Aside from Giambi, how many of those exist?

    Atheose November 19, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • Also, I take the Sox’ seeming complete uninterest in Cabrera to be a sign they will be heavy players in the Santana sweepstakes.
    Bradford said the Sox set today as a deadline for negotiations. Talk about getting your way — the Sox made one known offer, said they weren’t going beyond it, then set a deadline when it had to be done by, and it got done. Crazy.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 1:53 pm
  • I say Santana, but I would probably prefer Dan Haren.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • “According to ESPN’s Peter Gammons, both the Phillies and Dodgers were apparently willing to go to four years, but Lowell wants to remain in Boston.”

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • You’re probably right, Atheose. I’m just sulking. I think this is a terrbile signing, done only on the “idea” of what the fanbase wants them to do, rather than being smart about it. Not that it’s a lost cause or anything, but I really think that Lowell’s year was the outlier more than the norm, and he’s going to revert to somewhere between what he was the few years before and what he was last year.
    Eh, maybe I’m just spoiled by my own daydreams of a Cabrerra, Ortiz, Manny middle.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 1:56 pm
  • Oh brad, go back to playing fantasy baseball.
    Good signing by boston. 4 would have been too many. Boston didn’t need to finish first in runs scored this year. And they won’t next year. The key is pitching. Lowell adds a lot to the team and that’s coming from the players.

    jack November 19, 2007, 1:57 pm
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan Haren required a bounty nearing or even exceeding that of Santana’s. Under contract for 3 years at an absolute bargain, Haren is near the height of value. Everyone would like to have him. Beane would be insane to trade him if he didn’t bring back top, top prospects.

    Andrew November 19, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • Ellsbury is probably more like Fred Lynn than Yaz, and even being Lynn would be a major accomplishment. I think Ellsbury is going to be good, but I am not sure how good he will be next year. Without knowing the numbers, I think his BABIP must have been very high last season. I don’t have super-high expectations, maybe mid-level expectations.

    SF November 19, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • I say Santana, but I would probably prefer Dan Haren..
    Me too.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • I understand Brad. I have mixed feelings about the Lowell signing as well.
    But if we do have to trade Ellsbury/Buchholz/Lester for anyone, I would rather it be for pitching. Santana-Beckett makes me drool more than Cabrerra-Ortiz-Manny.

    Atheose November 19, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • OK, I may be a complete idiot for saying this and feel free to tell me so but here goes:
    Don’t trade for Santana.
    He’s nearing 30, there’s a rather hefty mileage on his arm, he’s slipped somewhat last season (at least by his standards), and he will demand obscene gobs of $$$ whether it be as an extension or once he hits free agency. I realize last season may have been an aberration, there’s no way of knowing right now. But, considering the costs, in $ and in prospects, I’m not entirely sure it’s a great idea.
    I understand that Santana is Santana, etc etc, and for a team like the Yankees, who really don’t have a true #1 ace it might be a deal worth considering. But for the Sox, who already have Beckett (and maybe Matsuzaka in the future) as their stopper(s), why trade the farm for this guy?
    OK, let the laughing and finger-pointing commence…

    yankeemonkey November 19, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • he’s going to revert to somewhere between what he was the few years before and what he was last year.
    That would be roughly his career average, then: .280/.340/.470.
    Which is also about what he put up in 2006. I’ll take that.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • why trade the farm for this guy?
    Why make any move, YM? To keep him away from the Yankees, of course! That’s what it is always about…
    ;-)

    SF November 19, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • Yeah, good point, Jack. But, I really thought the Red Sox were going to go the Pedro/Billy avenue here, and go younger here. Oh well!

    Brad November 19, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • No, you’re absolutely right, YM. A guy like Haren — younger, cost-controlled for the near term, just entering his prime — is better worth the top prospects required.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Nah, I agree with you YM. In fact, I don’t want the Yankees trading anything more than Hughes/Chamberlain + prospects for him. Rumors abound that it would require H/C plus Cano plus prospects, and that is too much to trade for anyone, unless the Twins threw in Pat Neshek or something. Santana is valuable, but not as valuable as speculation props him up to be.

    Andrew November 19, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • YM: Well said.
    I’m in the Haren camp myself, but it ‘aint gonna happen! ha.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • Packages that big for a pitcher make me nervous.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • Andrew, Chamberlain isn’t going anywhere.

    yankeemonkey November 19, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • If the Sox begin phasing Lowrie in in 2009, Brad, would not he ultimately be younger than Cabrera, Youkilis or any other current option at third? Lowell for three years provides a stable bridge to him. Anything else would block him.
    On the other hand, I suppose Cabrera in three years probably wouldn’t be playing third either, which is part of why the Sox didn’t care to trade for him.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • Well Brad, so much of our team is young–the entire team except catcher, left field and DH–that we can afford to hold a veteran like Lowell for 3 years.
    Plus, Lowell brings a TON of intangibles to the table. Most of the team was clamouring for the Sox to resign him. A lot can be said for team chemistry, even if Lowell puts up career average numbers the rest of the way.

    Atheose November 19, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • In a shocking upset, ARod wins the MVP.

    yankeemonkey November 19, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • In a shocking upset, ARod wins the MVP.
    *gasp*
    I thought it was gonna be Ortiz! That’s who some unknown yahoo at Boston.com said it should be.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Atheose, I’m certain you didn’t go down the “intangibles” road did you? :)
    Listen, I don’t hate Mike Lowell or anything, I just didn’t want the Red Sox to pick up that three years. I know the pickings were slim, however. Eh, there could be worse things to do than resigning the World Series MVP and solid performer who plays great defense.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • Ortiz got robbed.

    Atheose November 19, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • Actually, what is surprising is that two voters chose Ordonez first.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • Andrew, Chamberlain isn’t going anywhere..
    Then I would assume Santana isn’t coming to the Bronx. Hughes/Cano and prospect wont be enough. Not that it isn’t enough, but I don’t think it would be enough to trump other offers from other teams. I’ve been known to be wrong before, though.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • Yeah Brad, I bring out the “intangibles” card very hesitantly, but I’ve never seen so many members of a team eager to resign one of their teammates. Even if his numbers slowly dwindle he will keep the clubhouse atmosphere in good shape.
    I mean that’s why we resigned Tavarez, right? To keep the clubhouse atmosphere interesting? Well, that and bean opposing hitters. That man was born to hit people.

    Atheose November 19, 2007, 2:13 pm
  • Ortiz finished third, marking his fifth consecutive top-five finish. I’m gonna have to check to see if that’s some sort of record, particularly to never win the award.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • Really, why do that let writers do this crap? It’s out of freaking control. If every single writer didn’t choose A-Rod first, they should be stripped automatically of their privalege to vote.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • Actually, what is surprising is that two voters chose Ordonez first.
    I was just going to say that, apparently one vote from a Detroit guy and another from Oakland. Heh.

    yankeemonkey November 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • This doesn’t seem like a very risky venture, Lowell for three years. The Sox can afford to eat bad contracts, and if Lowell does 85% of what he did this year at the plate and remains a solid glove he’ll be a contributor. There may be diminishing returns, but the Sox are in a position to deal with those since their finances are so strong.
    Look at it this way, the Sox just inked Lowell for three years for just around what A-Rod might be earning for one season in 2018. That’s no comment on A-Rod, just a bit of perspective on what 3/37.5M means at this point. Miguel Cabrera would have cost the Sox their best young talent, taken down $10M+ in arbitration, then demanded a Manny-esque contract extension.
    Re-signing Lowell is defensible on every level: baseball, financial, sentimental.

    SF November 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • Paul, Ortiz finished 4th, behind Ordonez and Guerrero.

    Atheose November 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • If Lowell reverts to his career-average OPS, he will still be among the top three offensive third basemen in the American League (assuming no Cabrera move), ahead of Mora and basically providing the same value as Beltre. And don’t forget that would be a reversion from last year. So I’m comfortable with three years.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • Ah, my bad, scanned the story too fast, Atheose.
    Now that A-Rod has joined Ted Williams as a three-time winner of the AL MVP, it seems appropriate to note how badly Williams got jobbed out of at least two of those awards, never mind missing the war years. It’s amazing how good he was, and how many “what ifs” continue to swirl around his career…

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • A-Rod thread up top, please comment there.

    SF November 19, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • “Hughes/Cano and prospect wont be enough. Not that it isn’t enough, but I don’t think it would be enough to trump other offers from other teams.”
    Unless the Dodgers are involved (and I kinda doubt Santana would want to waive his NTC to go to an inconsistent, poorly-run NL team that would be severely weakened just by bringing on Santana to begin with), I don’t see the Sox offering Ellsbury/Lester/Buchholz, which would be what it would take to trump Hughes/Cano/Horne or equivalent. Maybe. Both Cano and Hughes are extremely valuable, and I would not be okay with the Yankees giving both of them up for one player, no matter who it is. Unless it’s Albert Pujols. Then I’d be okay with it.

    Anonymous November 19, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • ^me
    And maybe I misread you, but when I do the slash-mark thingy (Hughes/Cano) it means Hughes PLUS Cano.

    AndrewYF November 19, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • Andrew, I wasn’t really talking about the Sox, as I’ve said that I’m not big on him being in Boston. I was more talking about the other offers that other teams not named the Red Sox could put together. The dodgers aren’t the only team that could trump a Chamberlain-less offer by the Yankees. If they include Chamberlain, then yes, the Dodgers are about the only team that could match or beat it without being seriously hurt, but without him, several teams are in the running.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 3:05 pm
  • I’d totally prefer to give up Buchholz for Santana than Ellsbury, because Santana would be replacing our #5 starter with another #1 starter, while keeping Ellsbury’s production.
    (And I’m hardly saying that Ellsbury is an exact match for Yaz, but that I’m hopeful he may become as important and beloved to the team, if he keeps up what he showed us in 2007.)

    Hudson November 19, 2007, 5:56 pm
  • Listening to what people think the yankees would need to give up it sounds like the price would be BOTH Bucholz and Ellsbury for Santana.

    sam-YF November 19, 2007, 5:59 pm
  • P.S. If Drew, Lugo, DiceK and Manny improve their numbers in 2007 — and all of them have the talent and the room for improvement — the Sox can be truly fearsome, even if some of its older regulars (Lowell, Tek, Wakefield) drop off a bit.

    Hudson November 19, 2007, 6:00 pm
  • I’d think Santana would cost Lester and Ellsbury, and another prospect because it’s Lester and not Buchholz. It might have cost another prospect anyway.
    I’d still do that deal, though I’d rather let the Yanks have Johan and cocnentrate on Dan Haren.

    Paul SF November 19, 2007, 6:19 pm
  • Sam, I do believe that would probably be the asking price, and if it’s for Haren, I say yes, but not for Santana. For several reasons, none of which can be readily justified by me, I’m a bigger fan of Haren than I am Santana, and he won’t require that enormous salary for a few more years (Haren) that Santana most certainly will.
    I believe that you ALWAYS trade a pitching prospect for a proven pitcher in his prime, and, well, to be honest, good outfielders are not all that hard to come by. I’d try to keep Jacoby, and offer multiple players instead, but Buchholz is as good as gone if that’s what they want as the key player.

    Anonymous November 19, 2007, 6:20 pm
  • ^me. Paul, WTF?

    Brad November 19, 2007, 6:21 pm
  • I’m reading you mind this eveneing, Paul.

    Brad November 19, 2007, 6:23 pm
  • I still cant see the A’s trading Haren, even if they bust up the team. He is so good and under control for a few more years. Stranger things have happened with Beane though.

    sam-YF November 19, 2007, 6:34 pm

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