Sean McAdam, while noting that no conversations have occurred to this effect, observes that Mike Lowell might be a good fit with the Angels.
Makes sense: LAAofA just lost Kendry Morales for the year, they have a swirling vortex of suck at third base right now in the form of Brandon Wood and their DH — Hideki Matsui — has been less than effective. Lowell fits in all three of those slots.
McAdam quotes insiders who observe that the Angels tend to try to fill holes internally if at all possible. That’s great, but at some point you have too many holes. Brandon Wood stinks? Fine, that was always possible. Matsui? No worries, give Mike Napoli a day off behind the dish and hope that limited play causes Godzilla to spring back to life. But those two and no first baseman? Maybe too much to overcome.
It’s hard to see Anaheim wanting to give up too much for Lowell, but it’s not at all clear that they’d have to either. One gets the sense that the Boston brass is sensitive to the fact that Lowell is simply dangling right now. Yeah, it’s a business and all but you have to figure they want to do right by the guy and give him a chance to play.
The biggest barrier to this? Probably the fact that there’s a decent chance that both the Sox and the Angels have wild card aspirations, so why would one team want to help the other before it’s clear whether there’s going to be a race or not.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.