Lowell's right thumb holding up trade to Texas

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This week’s proposed trade of Mike
Lowell and cash to the Rangers for catcher Max Ramirez currently stands
in transaction limbo. Why?
Blame Lowell’s right thumb.



The Rangers are reportedly satisfied
with the status of Lowell’s right hip, but they are reviewing an injury
to Lowell’s thumb that hampered him over the final weeks of the ’09
season.




“There are still things to go over,” Red Sox assistant general manager Ben Cherington said yesterday. “It would not be a complete surprise if it didn’t happen.”



Terry Francona hasn’t yet spoken to
Lowell since the trade was agreed to in principle, but it would be
pretty darn awkward if this one fell through.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.