Rangers, Red Sox to move on with Lowell deal off

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The Mike Lowell-for-Max Ramirez deal is off, with the Rangers canceling the trade after a physical determined Boston’s third baseman would need surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament.
The surgery has a recovery timetable of 6-8 weeks, so Lowell should be fine for the start of spring training. Still, the Rangers didn’t want to take the chance, even with the Red Sox set to pay $9 million of the $12 million that Lowell was owed.
The Rangers could now turn back to Jermaine Dye or Vladimir Guerrero in their pursuit of a right-handed hitter. Both have more offensive upside than Lowell, though a healthy Lowell would have a lot more to offer if needed in the field.
The Red Sox will be able to search for a better deal in spring training. Ramirez could have proven useful, but he wasn’t in Boston’s immediate plans for 2010. If Lowell shows he’s healthy in March, perhaps another team will be willing to pick up more than $3 million of what he’s owed.

Report: Cardinals to sign Paul Goldschmidt to five-year contract extension

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Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.

The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.

With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.