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.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.