Rangers reportedly still interested in Mike Lowell

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According to Jim Reeves of ESPNDallas.com the Rangers are “scouring other camps to try to find that right-handed hitting role player … to fill the role of backup first baseman/third baseman” and “keep coming back to” Mike Lowell.
Reeves quotes a “club source” as saying that the Rangers “believe they can still basically get Lowell for the player they were willing to give up over the winter, Max Ramirez.” The deal that would have sent Lowell and $9 million from Boston to Texas for Ramirez was nixed when a pre-trade physical exam revealed that he needed thumb surgery.
Lowell also has hip problems and is currently sidelined by a bruised knee, so the Rangers are also said to be monitoring veterans like Kevin Millar, Fernando Tatis, and Wes Helms for the same backup/platoon job. At the time of the initial trade they hadn’t yet signed Vladimir Guerrero, so Lowell likely would have been in line for a more prominent role.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.