Lowell's spring debut pushed back to next week

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Mike Lowell was initially hoping to make his spring training debut tomorrow, but now it sounds like he won’t play until Monday at the earliest. Here’s manager Terry Francona:

We’re probably shooting more for Monday with Mikey Lowell. That’s probably a realistic target. I don’t know if it will happen.

Normally teams have every reason to be very cautious with injured players early in camp, but in the Red Sox’s case they probably want Lowell in the lineup as soon as possible to showcase him for a potential trade.
Boston had a deal worked out to send Lowell and $9 million to Texas for Max Ramirez, but the trade was nixed because of thumb surgery. If his thumb and hip look healthy and Lowell shows decent mobility at third base they should be able to find a taker for him again, although the Rangers are seemingly out of the mix after signing Vladimir Guerrero.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.