Julio Lugo’s fate next season has seemingly rested as much in the arms of the Detroit Tigers as the Boston Red Sox.
With talks between the Tigers and Red Sox regarding any potential swap of overpriced pitchers looking to rebound (Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis) and overpriced shortstops looking for redemption (Julio Lugo) seemingly dead in the water, the Detroit Tigers may make a move that makes it even more likely that Julio Lugo remains a Red Sox in 2009.
According to the Boston Herald’s Sean McAdam;

“The Red Sox and Tigers had discussed the general parameters of a deal in which the Sox would send Lugo to Detroit in exchange for one of two left-handed pitchers, either Dontrelle Willis or Nate Robertson.
Industry sources report that momentum for such a swap has slowed. The possibility of a deal is now considered remote.”

Why would such a deal be stalling out? Surely it wouldn’t be the Red Sox slowing things up (unless my recent “Could Julio Lugo be 2009’s Coco Crisp?” article wasn’t too far afield after all).
In fact, according to the Detroit Free Press, the stumbling block may be the same thing that is making Julio Lugo expendable in Boston to start with; the perceived competence of one Alex Cora.

“The Tigers have considered pursuing free agent Alex Cora as a low-cost solution at shortstop, according to two people familiar with the team’s plans.”

At the end of my post on Lugo’s potential for a 2009 redemption in Boston I posed this question to be at the heart of any decisions facing the Red Sox on this matter;

“At the heart, this decision comes down to one thing; what would you rather have, Alex Cora (or another free agent utility infielder) and Dontrelle Willis ($11 million per year) or Julio Lugo ($9 mm)?”

It would appear that Tigers management is considering just that very question as well.