Friday, December 5

An off-season factor….Mike Lowell is Ahead of Schedule:

This September all of us in Red Sox Nation could feel Mike Lowell’s pain. Lowell, who was suffering from a torn labrum in his hip, played through agonizing pain and garnered even more respect points from all of us. He gave it all he could, and when we watched him barrel down the third base line to field a bunt or squibber, we cringed and then limped a little as we walked over to the fridge to get another beer.

Shortly after being left off the ALCS roster, Mike Lowell had surgery to repair his torn labrum and since then has been relatively out of the media circus that is Boston baseball. Now the third basemen and 2007 World Series MVP is sneaking back into the spotlight. Word from the Red Sox organization is that they are very happy with Lowell’s rehabilitation progress and he is well ahead of schedule. The Red Sox are now very optimistic Lowell will be 100 percent by early March.

As the likelihood of a healthy Mike Lowell for the 2009 season continues to increase, so do the implications it has on the Mark Teixiera sweepstakes for the Red Sox. Depending on what source you trust, the Sox are either a leader in chase to land the best player on the market, or they are only testing the waters by lightly inquiring about the 28 year old first basemen (ITM note: with Manny on the market I was forced to call Tex the best player available and not the best hitter...that doesn't mean that Manny isn't a complete toolbag).

The Sox face a few questions in their pursuit of Teixiera. Do they push hard, spend the extra money (including offering 7 plus years) and move Youk from first to third if can they land him? At the same time, the trade value of a rehabilitating Mike Lowell will only reach fair market levels after it has been proven that he is healthy and shows no ill effects of the off-season surgery. Some argue for keeping Lowell and platooning the three players, but they have too much individual talent for that to be truly possible while keeping everyone happy.

My personal opinion? No team will get serious about the soon to be 35 year old Lowell until the end of spring training at the earliest. That said, you have to do everything you can to make your team better, especially in the AL East. It is quite difficult to separate business and emotion when a player has given so much to a team, but Theo needs to strike the correct balance between relationship management and fielding the best team possible on opening day 2009. Tex may be an expensive/risky get (especially given Lowell's situation), but he may also be the last piece to championship puzzle.

Go Sox.


KeepMikeLowell said...

Come on, the Sox gotta keep Mike Lowell. Why are so many fans turning on the guy just for getting hurt?????

And I think we all expect Teixiera to stay out west.

D Vicino said...

I don't think RSN is turning on him for getting hurt....or for that matter turning on him at all....many of us recognize the value-added bringing Tex in would have on this team.

Theo would not be doing his job if he didn't at least explore this option.

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