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.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.