The Mike Lowell trade is off

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The Boston Herald’s Mike Silverman tweets that Mike Lowell needs thumb surgery and that the deal with the Rangers is dead. Rob Bradford of WEEI — not subject to 140 characters because he blogged it rather than tweeted it — says that it’s a torn radiall colateral ligament, that surgery will happen after Christmas, and that Lowell will need 6-8 weeks to recover.

More than killing a trade, one has to think that this really hampers the Sox’ plans to try and get a corner infielder.  Oh sure, they still could do it — they were ready to eat $9 million of Lowell’s contract in the trade, and that’s only a half a step away from releasing him — but it would make it much more difficult from a P.R. perspective.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.