Mike Lowell was nearly a Yankee again


Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox nearly had a deal in place on Friday that would have had Mike Lowell going to the Yankees.  Not directly — the Rangers would have been used as an intermediary in a three-way trade — but for all practical purposes it would have been a Yankees-Red Sox trade.  Two curious things about this:

1) Rosenthal says that the trade would not have prevented the Yankees from continuing on to do the Berkman trade. He doesn’t mention the Austin Kearns deal, but does anyone else sort of feel like the Yankees are playing with a 35-man roster right now?

2) I love the notion of the Yankees and Red Sox feeling like they can’t do a deal with one another and thus tried to bring the Rangers into it. It’s like the U.S. and the Soviets communicating through the Brazilian government during the Cuban Missile Crisis or something. Detente anyone?

Of course nothing happened, and Mike Lowell — who appears like he can hit and everything based on his latest rehab assignment — remains a man without a country.  And maybe soon without a team, as it appears that the Red Sox are going to have no choice but to designate him for assignment.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.