Piggybacking on Aaron’s entry from earlier, a ‘frustrated’ Mike Lowell elaborated before Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, telling reporters that he has considered asking the Red Sox for his release (via Rob Bradford of WEEI.com).
“Have I given it thought, sure. I think that’s a normal train of thought
to go through,” he said. “Is that something that would happen? I don’t
know. I haven’t looked that deep into it. I think that’s more upper
management’s decision. They’ve been willing to eat a lot of my contract
so maybe that’s not holding them back. Sometimes you think if that
happens it would be better. But I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t
think the flip side is always better or always worse. I know the
situation here is … I just don’t see it being very good.”
He doesn’t disagree with Terry Francona’s decision to play the red-hot David Ortiz, but fears that he’ll be even further buried on the bench once Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury return from the disabled list.
Lowell, 36, is batting .263/.354/.404 with one home run and nine RBI over 57 at-bats this season. He’d surely draw interest from any numbers of teams if the Red Sox were to aggressively pursue a trade, but the team would probably have to kick in a substantial portion of his $12 million salary for this season in order to do so.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.