Rob Bradford of WEEI checks in from Fort Myers where he spoke with Theo Epstein about the awkwardness that will be the Mike-Lowell-in-camp dynamic:
“I don’t know that it will be that dicey. As I’ve said, it’s one of
those things that will take care of itself. Mike’s priority is our
priority, which is to get him healthy. Until that happens, there’s
really not much that can be done. He’s going to be a little bit behind
everybody else because of the surgery he had. we’re going to do
everything we can to help get him healthy. Once he gets healthy, it
will take care of itself. If he’s really impressive and impressive to
other clubs, maybe something can be worked out. If not, I’m sure
there’s nowhere else where Mike would rather take a bit of a lesser
role than here.”
That’s about as honest as an assessment as you’ll hear from a GM. Most of the time in such situations you’ll hear the front office say “we think Mike Lowell will be a big contributor, etc, etc.,” even if it’s not plausible. Maybe so that the player’s ego isn’t bruised, maybe because they think that by doing so it will make the guy a more attractive trade target. It seems, however, that Lowell and Theo and are going to be spending this spring openly and honestly shopping the guy.
Not that it’s completely honest. Because really, does anyone think that the Red Sox want to keep Lowell on the team, riding the pine, making $12 million to be a utility guy who can’t play up the middle? I don’t, and if the Sox can’t find a trading partner I’d be shocked if they didn’t simply cut Lowell in the interests of a more flexible bench. I mean, its not like they’re not going to be paying most of his salary even if they trade him.