Tag:Mike Lowell
Posted on: November 23, 2010 6:08 pm

Red Sox decline to offer arbitration to Varitek

Varitek Could Jason Varitek's Red Sox career be coming to an end?

While not closing the books on his return, Boston declined to offer arbitration to the backstop, meaning Varitek cannot accept and bind both sides to a one-year deal.

Varitek's return to Boston actually improved Tuesday with the news that catcher Victor Martinez is inking a deal with the Tigers, but the continued declining of the arbitration offer even after that news broke speaks to how cautious Boston is being. Varitek would likely have gotten a slight bump over his 2010 salary of $3 million. As a Type B free agent, he could have brought Boston a supplemental first-rounder had he declined the offer of arbitration and signed elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the club also declined to offer arbitration to Bill Hall, closing the books on his onerous contract that was largely subsidized by the Brewers. Mike Lowell, a Type B free agent, was also not offered arbitration as the veteran is expected to retire.

Arbitration was offered to Martinez, Adrian Beltre and Felipe Lopez. With V-Mart's trek to Detroit, Boston will hold the No. 19 pick in the draft, unless Detroit signs a higher-profile free agent, which is unlikely. They also gain a supplemental first-round pick. The team is in shape to gain from Adrian Beltre's departure as well, if it happens, so Boston may be more willing to part with its own first-round pick as a result.

The last player to be offered arbitration was infielder Felipe Lopez, who likely has a gentleman's agreement with the club to decline. That gives the Red Sox a free pick after Lopez was released by the Cardinals late in the season and plucked up by Boston for the chance at the extra draft pick.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 10:22 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 10:22 pm

Lowell goes out on good note

Mike Lowell
Mike Lowell, honored by the Red Sox before the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, decided to call it a career after going 2-for-2 with a walk and a pair of RBI. He didn't play in the nightcap and won't play in Sunday's season finale.

"I thank God for the opportunity to play in this ballpark," he told the fans at Fenway Park in a pregame ceremony on "Thanks, Mike" Day. "For the opportunity to wear this jersey and for the opportunity to play in front of you."

His gifts during the ceremony included a watch, stone crabs, a Fenway seat, third base (pulled from the ground by Josh Beckett) and a $100,000 donation by the Red Sox to his charitable foundation.

Lowell played the final five years of his 13-year career in Boston, his final season trying to gracefully maneuver an odd-man-out situation that saw him play in just 72 games. Saturday, he doubled to drive in two runs in the first inning and singled off the Green Monster in the fifth, then was lifted for a pinch-runner as he received a standing ovation.

After the game, Boston manager Terry Francona said Lowell was done, saying the 36-year-old wanted to go out with a hit.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 24, 2010 9:00 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 9:03 pm

Lowell hit in head, but seems OK

Mike Lowell is just over a week away from retirement, so this is no time for bad hops.

An errant ground ball off the bat of the Yankees' Curtis Granderson jumped up and hit the Red Sox first baseman in the right temple Friday night (it's been going around today), dropping him to the ground. After a minute or so, he regained his feet and stayed in the game.

Let's be careful out there, Mike. Pretend you're in one of those movies where the cop is a week away from his pension and walks around muttering "I'm too old for this $!#@."

UPDATE: Lowell came out of the game after finishing the inning. Hopefully it's just a precaution with the Red Sox up 10-1 in a meaningless game. Well, as meaningless as a Yankees-Red Sox game can be.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 11, 2010 9:51 pm

Lowell to retire

Mike Lowell Need it official that Mike Lowell is retiring?

The four-time All-Star is happy to oblige.

“I’m retiring,” Lowell told the Boston Herald . “I just don’t want to make it a song and dance because I don’t think that’s necessary, but if someone needs something official, yeah, I’m going to retire. This is going to be my last year.”

Lowell currently has a cumulative .279/.341/.464 mark in 13 seasons covering 6,456 at-bats and 222 home runs and 947 RBI entering play Saturday. Lowell was in the lineup for the night's game against the Athletics.

The righty will retire as one of the greatest third baseman of his generation, and one who was an absolute vacuum at third base for most of his career, even if he only has one Gold Glove to show for it.

Lowell came up with the Yankees, appearing in eight games in 1998 as the Yankees went on to defeat the Padres in the World Series. He was then dealt to Florida in the offseason, where he spent the next seven seasons.

The Puerto-Rican native was a major part of the World Series-winning 2003 squad that downed his former team, hitting .276/.350/.530 in 557 plate appearances in his career season.

He then suffered through a brutal .236/.298/.360 year in 2005 and was traded to Boston in the offseason as a salary dump with the Red Sox's prize acquisition being Josh Beckett.

Lowell rebounded over the next four seasons, culminating in another career year in 2007 by going .324/.378/.501 in 653 plate appearances and 120 RBI when Lowell was needed in the middle of the order. He was named the MVP of the World Series after Boston swept the Rockies.

That was the beginning of the end, however. While the BoSox inked him to a three-year, $37.5 million deal after 2007, the team immediately tried to trade him countless times. There was the flirtation with the Rockies for Todd Helton prior to 2007, plus the trade-that-never-was in the offseason between 2009 and 2010 when Lowell almost became a Ranger.

Lowell has been limited to first base and partial duty in 2010 after lingering effects from hip surgery that limited him in 2009 as well. It's been a long and frustrating year for Lowell, but he's not going to leave the game sulking.

“I’m not chasing any numbers,” he said. “I’m fine. This is actually a blessing. If I had 2,700 hits, I’d still play to get to 3,000 and then I think you’re playing for the numbers and not because you really enjoy it.”

So Lowell is leaving of his own volition . Does he think he could extend his major-league career if he really wanted to?

“I do think I can platoon somewhere, but I don’t really enjoy it,” he said. “I can do it, but not after playing every day for 11 years and three years in the minor leagues and my whole life. I’m not willing to make that transition, not when the tradeoff is all that time with my family. It’s not worth it.”

Lowell will walk away with two World Series rings on his fingers. Not a bad way to go.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 4, 2010 2:26 pm

Lowell playing with rib injury

Mike Lowell Red Sox first baseman Mike Lowell is playing with a non-displaced fracture in one of his ribs, but will not miss any time.

"I'm medically cleared to play and as long as it doesn't bother me it should be fine," Lowell told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford before Saturday's doubleheader. "There's really nothing to do. I feel fine. I feel like I'm swinging the bat pretty well lately."

Lowell suffered the injury on Aug. 20 when he collided with Toronto's John McDonald on a play at first base.

"It was bruised for three or four days, and after a week went by it felt like it wasn't getting any better and it was bothering me to get up and when I was sleeping and stuff," Lowell said.

In the 11 games after the injury, Lowell has hit .270/.300/.297. Of his 10 hits, only one has gone for extra bases, a double on Aug. 29.

The Red Sox lost Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida earlier this season with fractured ribs.

Lowell has hinted that he plans to retire after the season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 31, 2010 5:43 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 7:03 pm

Report: Rangers target Lowell

Mike Lowell
Since it became clear they have a legitimate shot to be a championship contender this season, the Rangers have been pushing hard to add players, with a hand in seemingly every trade rumor.

Well, MLB.com says that with the deadline to add postseason-eligible players just hours away, the Rangers are still hammering the phone lines. Some reports out of New York have had Mets odd man out Jeff Francoeur headed to Texas (he could be non-tendered if the deadline passes and the Mets can't move him), but T.R. Sullivan reports that it's another odd man out -- Boston's Mike Lowell -- who is the Rangers' top target.

The Rangers almost dealt for Lowell last winter until it surfaced that he needed thumb surgery. He's cropped up several times this year in rumors about the Rangers. But now it could finally happen. The Rangers' deadline acquisition of the Marlins' Jorge Cantu has been a disaster in the early going, as he's batting .211 in 18 games since the trade. Lowell would be another right-handed infield option.

Players must be added to a team's roster by midnight ET tonight in order to be eligible for that team's postseason roster.

UPDATE: Now Sullivan counters his own report, saying a Rangers official told him "Nothing is happening with Lowell." The Dallas Morning News says the Francoeur thing is still alive.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 22, 2010 8:52 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2010 10:23 pm

Lowell still planning to retire after 2010

Mike Lowell Mike Lowell hasn't changed his plans to retire after the season, he told reporters after Sunday's game against the Blue Jays.

"I'm pretty much set on what I'm going to do," Lowell said (via the Boston Herald 's Scott Lauber ). "It's going to be fun to enjoy my kids."

Lowell is hitting .229/.306/.379 this season after his 1 for 3 performance on Sunday. He's been a little better than that since his latest return from the disabled list, hitting .250/.303/.417 since Aug. 3, when he hit a homer on his first pitch back. He has four home runs and 16 RBI this season, but hasn't knocked in a run since Aug. 11.

Lowell said in April that he'd most likely retire after the season. Lowell missed all of July after aggravating his surgically repaired right hip. He started the season with a thumb injury and then was used as a $12-million backup until Kevin Youkilis' hand injury gave him a place to play.

The Red Sox signed Carlos Delgado, but he's been derailed by injury and it looks like it may be Lowell as the every-day first baseman from here on out.

"Am I personally enjoying it? Of course. That’s obvious." Lowell said. "I have more fun playing than not playing. Yeah, it’s been much more enjoyable knowing your name’s being written in."

Still, it won't last forever. Youkilis returns next season and Lowell will be a 37-year old (in February) free agent without a spot on his current team. Instead, it looks like he knows as well as anyone that his future is retirement. But he could go out with another postseason run.

"We have a rotation that we believe can be scary in the postseason, and we’re going to need them to be pretty scary down the stretch," he said. "We’ve pieced a lot of different pieces to put out a lineup that’s still competitive. There’s a lot of resiliency here. If we can make a run, I think this team, the fans should be very proud of what we’re doing."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 7, 2010 1:18 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2010 3:01 pm

Red Sox sign Delgado

Carlos Delgado
Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe has confirmed that the Red Sox have signed Carlos Delgado to a minor-league contract. Delgado, who hasn't played since last season and is coming back from hip surgery, will work back into shape in the minors, and the Red Sox must call him up by September 1 or he becomes a free agent.

Benjamin said Delgado will make the prorated portion of a $3 million a year salary for his time in the majors. He also has bonuses for postseason MVP awards.

Delgado will platoon with Mike Lowell at first base for Boston, which this week lost Kevin Youkilis for the year with a thumb injury.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: In his pregame meeting with reporters, manager Terry Francona confirmed the Delgado signing but said he will still consider Lowell the starting first baseman, and any new additions will"complement him." Delgado will report to Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday to work out, and hopes to begin playing within the week.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com