Mike Lowell to make decision about retirement in September


While on a rehab assignment at Triple-A yesterday Mike Lowell told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he “will let you know in September” whether he plans to retire after the season.
Lowell recently spent some time away from baseball at home in Miami and said the experience was “a nice glimpse of what it would be with my family and it made me really excited for that part of my life.”
Lowell is hoping to return from the disabled list early next month and presumably the “in September” decision timeline stems from the August 31 trade deadline. If another team steps up their interest in Lowell and brings him in to help down the stretch, it may convince him to play another season. If he goes unclaimed on waivers and the Red Sox can’t find a taker for him (or don’t use him themselves) then retirement may be the choice.
And of course any further setbacks with his hip problems could make the decision for him without any of that stuff coming into play.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.