The first thought in most people’s minds after the Adrian Beltre deal was reported last night was what the Red Sox were going to do with Mike Lowell. OK, my first thought was “wow, Boras really misread the market for his dude,” but my next thought definitely was what to do about Mike Lowell.
Almost immediately, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick and others suggested that the Mets were possibly interested in trading Luis Castillo for him. Which makes no sense given that (a) such a deal would provide no cash relief for either team involved; and (b) there is nowhere for Castillo — a lifetime second baseman — to play in Boston. But hey, at least someone’s thinking about all of this.
More plausible: late last night Yahoo!’s Tim Brown said that he had a source telling him that the Rangers “have not ruled out re-engaging on Lowell.”
Given the previously aborted run at this, and given Lowell’s recent surgery, you’d have to think that any deal sending him to Texas would have to be even more one-sided than the last one was. That had Texas sending catcher Max Ramirez to the Red Sox in exchange for
Lowell and about $9 million.
What would a new deal look like? Just the cash? More cash? At some point it just becomes easier for the Red Sox to release the guy, doesn’t it?
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.