See you later, Mike Lowell. It was fun for a while there. By now you know that Lowell is retiring at the end of 2010 following a 12-year career in which he collected three World Series rings (New York ’98, Florida ’03, Boston ’07), a World Series MVP and a legacy that may lead him […]
Temporary — and Permanent — Rotation Fixes
Night after night, hit after hit, the Sox rotation is looking more like a punch-drunk boxer than a viable contender.
Though Lester has reaffirmed his ace status and Buchholz has put together a nice season on the surface, there just isn’t much to lean on after those two.
Though we knew what we were getting into trotting Daisuke to the mound – with his salary making him that much more cumbersome and immobile – the focus shifts to Tim Wakefield.
As the season settles in, which Red Sox story has your eye?
After John Lackey’s $18.7 million contract, the next three highest paid Sox are J.D. Drew ($14 million), David Ortiz ($13 million) and Mike Lowell ($12.5 million). So far those three hitters have a combined (through Friday) for 22 hits in 121 at-bats with 16 walks and two home runs. That comes out to a baseline average of .181 and a .262 on-base percentage.
On the advanced side of the Hall of Metrics they are averaging a weighted Runs Created plus (wRC++) of 65.666 which is actually a little misleading because Lowell actually has a very decent wRC++ number of 121, albeit in only 20 official at bats this year. The average wRC++ between Ortiz and Drew is 38 (44 for Ortiz, 32 for Drew). Conversely, runs are hard to create when you are not getting on base and the mean between the three players weighted on-base average is .281 again with Lowell skewing the numbers with a .361 wOBA while Ortiz and Drew are at .251 and .233, respectively.
Lowell to Texas, Beltre to Boston?
This rumor has been cooking for a long time, and it may finally be ready for consumption. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Red Sox and Rangers have a deal in place that would send Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers, with the Sox receiving top catching prospect Max Ramirez. Many expect the trade to be a precursor to the signing of Adrian Beltre.
As per Rosenthal, the Sox would contribute a substantial portion of Lowell’s contract – in his words, with the Sox “eating nearly all of [Lowell’s] 12 [million dollar] salary.” Dan Barbarisi of the Providence Journal, on the other hand, has the Sox providing “at least half” of the deal. We likely won’t know for some time which of the two price tags will win out, but be certain that it will significantly affect the team’s outlook for the remainder of the winter.
Is this the Sox answer to the Granderson deal in New York? Probably not. This isn’t the kind of blockbuster trade that substantially alters the team for 2010. In fact, the trade is curious in the sense that it would significantly hinder the team’s ability to maneuver for free agents for the rest of the off-season – and could put them out of the running for either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday…
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, a Sox acquisition of Adrian Beltre is becoming a real possibility. As per Nightengale’s Twitter account,
“It wouldn’t be surprising if Beltre falls into the Red Sox lap if he doesn’t accept arbitration from the Mariners.”
The move would be predicated by Beltre declining arbitration, which SI’s Jon Heyman reports as a growing likelihood. Beltre, 30, qualified as a Type B free agent this offseason, so he would not cost the Sox a draft pick.
Beltre battled injuries this past season, batting .265/.304/.379 with only 8 home runs in 449 at-bats. Beltre remains an elite fielding third baseman, however, as he posted a 14.3 UZR at the hot corner in 2009.
Should Beltre regain his hitting prowess from previous seasons, he could present a nice upgrade over a declining Mike Lowell…
Two items for today’s laundry list:
1) Hope that Lowell’s hip heals
2) Pray to Pedro Serrano’s voodoo gods (yeah, that crazy guy from “Major League”) that if he doesn’t, Casey Kotchman’s bat will rise from its slumber.
Mike Lowell came into this season on the heels of a revolutionary labrum surgery, one so new that it is yet to be named (that Lowell, incidentally, hopes will be named after him). As a result, he’s already had one DL stint this season due to the hip and received another Synvisc injection Monday.
With Thursday’s game still to be played, the Sox look toward their three-game weekend series in Texas, back 5.5 of the Yankees; up 1.5 on the Rangers in the wildcard. This is a big set – don’t take it likely…
My article from this morning may have just taken on a little extra context as it appears Mike Lowell is headed to the DL after a setback with his right hip.
@amaliebenjamin with the scoop
With Mike Lowell’s recent injury concerns creeping back into the active conscious of Red Sox Nation, depth at the corners and in the middle of the lineup has suddenly been thrust to the forefront of the early pre-trade deadline chatter.
Much of the Red Sox trade innuendo to this point has surrounded the potential acquisition of a shortstop or catcher, positions without organizational depth or strength. But with Jason Varitek and George Kottaras holding down the fort behind the plate with acceptable production and Nick Green earning the job at short with Jed Lowrie waiting in the wings (and Julio Lugo being Julio Lugo), those positions may not be the most critical to address as July rolls in.