Report: Rangers, Red Sox discuss Lowell deal

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According to the Providence Journal’s Joe McDonald, the Red Sox and Rangers are discussing a Mike Lowell deal, with Max Ramirez potentially being involved.
The Rangers have been looking for a right-handed bat to pair with Nelson Cruz behind Josh Hamilton in the lineup, with Jermaine Dye’s name being mentioned frequently. Lowell, though, may well come cheaper than Dye, as the Red Sox are believed to be willing to pick up half of his $12 million salary. He’d also offer the Rangers protection at both first and third.
Ramirez would be a logical return. He’s coming off a down year in Triple-A, but he’s shown considerable offensive potential before that and his bat might really blossom if he’s permanently moved off catcher. The 25-year-old is a career .299/.398/.486 hitter in six minor league seasons. He’s never developed defensively behind the plate, but he has some experience at first base and he’d give the Red Sox one more fallback option there and at DH.
If the Red Sox are able to entice the Rangers to take on Lowell, it’s assumed that free agent Adrian Beltre would be their No. 1 target to take over at third base.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.