The Sox will throw money into a Lowell deal

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There were scattered reports over the weekend that the Red Sox could be shopping Mike Lowell, but given that he’s old, expensive and in decline, such a deal would be a tough nut to crack. According to Rosenthal, however, the Sox are willing to kick in as much as $6 million of Lowell’s $12 million salary for 2010 to anyone who will take him off their hands.

If Lowell were gone, it would open up all kinds of possibilities for Boston, from the fantastic (trading for Adrian Gonzalez, with Youkilis moving to third) to the merely practical (signing someone like Adrian Beltre in order to get a better glove on the left side of the infield).

As for any potential trading partner: Mike Lowell for $6 million would still be kinda hard to swallow. I suppose if you’re a team that’s well-sorted everywhere except at third base it would make some kind of sense, but I can’t see any contenders out there that fit the profile. 

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.