Mike Lowell in pinstripes?

Yanks offense makes life easy for Javy in 9-3 win
Game 63: Sweep the 'Stros

So the word in Boston is that Mike Lowell is on the outs, and could be gone within a week.  Since he made his displeasure with his semi-platoon with David Ortiz known on May 19th, he has been buried on Terry Francona’s bench.  While some of that can be attributed to  Ortiz’ resurgence at the plate, he has been struggling lately, yet Lowell hasn’t gotten much of a chance to contribute.  In 11 games in June, Ortiz has a .158/.333/.316 line with 1 HR.  Considering Ortiz is also hitting just .217/.315/.326 vs. LHP on the year, they surely could have found more at-bats for Lowell, no?

I bring this all on up on the slight chance that the Sox just release Lowell in the next 10 days or so.  I assume, by eating the rest of Lowell’s contract, the Sox will be able to find a trade partner.  In the offseason, before failing a physical, the Sox had agreed to trade Lowell to Texas for intriguing catcher Max Ramirez.  I expect a trade soon, while the Sox will likely get less of a return, they are in more dire need to rid themselves of a potential problem.

But………………

If the Sox can’t work out a trade, and Lowell is soon released, how would Lowell look in pinstripes, returning to his original organization?  Is there room for him in New York?  Would he be happy with the playing time?  Would he even consider crossing to the other side of the rivalry?  My answers are yes, yes, and yes.

The recent injury to Alex Rodriguez, however minor, has shown what a huge hole is created when he is out of the lineup.  While Curtis Granderson, Jorge Posada and Nick Johnson have all missed time this year, there were sufficient backups in place which allowed the Yankees to tread water at those positions.  At third base, it’s a different story.  Not only is A-Rod better than the aforementioned trio, his backups are worse.  Ramiro Pena simply cannot hit at the major league level.  Kevin Russo has shown nothing with the bat and has seen limited time at 3rd base.  If A-Rod were to even go on the 15 day DL, it would be a huge blow to the Yankees.

If A-Rod remains healthy, is there a role for Lowell as a DH?  While Lowell is (or was) being used in Boston as a DH against LHP, in his career he has OPS’d .797 against righthanders, so he doesn’t exactly have Marcus Thames type splits.  That .797 OPS of course came primarily as a strong fielding 3rd baseman, and not a DH, so there was a ton of value in that type of offensive production.  Could you bring in Lowell as a backup at the corners, and give him 60-70% of the at-bats at DH?  You could still work Posada in at DH, and have Thames (or now Huffman) DH against lefties.  If you are comfortable with Ramiro Pena in the OF, you can send Kevin Russo to Scranton.  If you are comfortable with Russo at SS, you can send Pena down.  If bringing in Lowell would provide enough of an upgrade, you can make it work roster-wise.

To address my second and third yes votes above, why would Lowell be happy as a part-time player in New York if he’s not happy in Boston?  Lowell, frankly, has been bitter since soon after resigning with the Sox after the 2007 World Series.  He took a hometown discount as the Phillies were offering him a longer deal, but Lowell wanted to stay with the Sox and took fewer years and total dollars.  It wasn’t long before the rumors started about the Sox acquiring new players that would have pushed Lowell out of his starting role.  This displeasure was strongly evident when the Sox made the hard push to sign Mark Teixeira after the 2008 season, which would have moved Kevin Youkilis to 3B, and Lowell on the trade block.  Lowell was pissed.  After winning the World Series MVP and taking a hometown discount, he felt he deserved better.  Lowell’s feelings were only compounded this offseason when the Sox signed Adrian Beltre (after many Adrian Gonzalez rumors) to play 3rd, pushing Lowell to the bench.  This, a nearly two-year-old chip on his shoulder, just might be enough for Lowell to not only accept a reduced role for another team, but also to do it for the Yankees, just to spite the Red Sox.

There are a lot more questions than answers, and at the end of the day I don’t think the Sox will cut Lowell knowing that he could end up in pinstripes.  We don’t know whether Lowell can play even a passable 3rd base anymore.  He was terrible in 2009, but was struggling with a major hip injury.  We don’t know how much is left in his bat; in 2008 and 2009 he was about league average, and he has just 74 ABs this year.  We don’t know if he would consider a part-time role — or any role — with the Yankees.  If the Yankees had the opportunity to get Lowell for the minimum, I think it’s something they would have to look into, and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle.  If not, they can cut him themselves, no harm, no foul.

For more of my work head over to Mystique and Aura.

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Yanks offense makes life easy for Javy in 9-3 win
Game 63: Sweep the 'Stros
  • 28 this year

    interesting point. He can’t be worse than our backups and league minimum, I’m in.

  • Accent Shallow

    Count me out. He has the range of a statue, and I think the bat is done.

  • zs190

    Depends on how healthy he is. If he’s healthy, I’m fine with him replacing Russo. Cano plays every day so Russo is mostly a 3B/LF. Lowell can play 3B occasionally and Huffman/Thames can play some LF/RF.

    Russo might be a league average bat (probably his ceiling) in future but right now he’s not even a replacement level bat and Lowell would be a pretty good upgrade.

  • zs190

    Forgot to add, but I doubt he would come to the Yanks. There are contenders with more play time to give. (Angels, Rangers, etc) While he might have a grudge against the Sox, I think he still values play time more.

    • http://instrumentsacrosstheworld.com Total Dominication

      But those don’t give him the same chance of winning deep into the postseason. Lowell wants to win.

      • zs190

        You know, I’m not sure about that. If all he cares about is winning, he wouldn’t be all grumpy and ranting all the time. The Sox has a solid chance to go deep into postseason as well and he’s clearly not happy.

        I think the odds are better for us to get to postseason but both of those teams are playoff contenders too. Once you get to postseason, anything can happen.

  • nsalem

    The man is in deep decline especially defensively. To me an easy schedule from here to the break would dictate a July decision when there may be more choices and we will have more of a clear idea of what
    we need down the stretch. By then we may have a different health situation (hopefully better) and a different position in the standings
    (also hopefully better)

  • Mike

    Naaa…..

  • Michael Kay but not THE

    it depends, would he still be able to use Ortiz’ “vitamins” after he leaves The Sox?

    • Gonzo

      “Bitamins and shakes!”

      • scooter

        It’s the Peach Mango Salsa:
        http://www.bigpapienfuego.com/?page=shop
        Wonder if I could get the salsa with bitamins?

        I’m not sure if this quote gets filed in the “unintentional humor” category:

        “It is sure to liven up a wide variety of dishes, especially Fish Tacos!!”

  • bonestock94

    I wouldn’t mind giving him a shot at DH. Certainly would be easier to stomach than Clemens coming to the Yanks.

  • Poopy Pants

    Lowell is the only Sox player I don’t dislike.

  • Gonzo

    I players in the future think twice about taking a discount for the sox!

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      Lowell was foolish and given bad advice to do so originally. The Sox have no sense of loyalty. Look at how they’ve treated some legendary players in Sox lore. Clemens, Nomar and Manny just to name a few. They love them and they’re not only great ballplayers, but model citizens. Then they trade them and throw them under the bus, spreading all sorts of tabloid rumor crap about how they have been clubhouse cancers for years and have been bad to the fans and the city.

      It happens time and time again, yet players keep falling for it and expressing some kind of loyalty to an organization that has proven to be anything but loyal or classy in return.

  • Eric

    Of course the day this article posts, Lowell is in the lineup for the Red Sox.

    • Eric

      Probably showcasing him for a trade…

  • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

    Hey, they took a shot at Richie Sexson a few years ago. Obviously didn’t work out, but why not at least take a shot at Lowell if it’s possible? Can anyone who has poo-pooed this idea thought about a better solution? Hint: It’s not Pena or Russo. The best possible internal fix might be Cervelli who played, what…about 9 innings at third during the Spring?

    I think there is just a lot of anti-Sox bias going on here. Sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it before when taking polls on my Yankee based website about best Yankee announcers. Ken Singleton ALWAYS comes in last! Why? The reason I hear most…he’s an Oriole. Kenny’s probably their BEST announcer, yet people dislike him because he played for the Orioles 26 years ago? I can see the same thinking burrowing below the surface here.

    This is the best mid-season upgrade option I’ve heard floated by anyone and I’d be all for giving him a shot. If he really is done defensively OR with the bat, just cut him loose…he can’t cost too much. 86 plate appearances Boston has given him this year aren’t a sign of anything. Besides, given that he’s played off and on, aside from a .227 average, his numbers are OK. Best of all 11 walks against 9 strikeouts. Sounds like a good fit to the Yankee lineup.

  • misterd

    I’ve been thinking this since Nick J went down.

  • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

    By the way…since this move does make sense, it only follows that Cashman will not even give it a sniff.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      LOL!!!!!

      But not really.

    • Dave

      No, let’s try, it’s stupid and Cashman is laughing at it.

  • claybeez

    Like this idea. At would be the league minimum, it’s certainly worth seeing what Lowell could provide.

  • Mike HC

    Would it be too crazy to move Tex to third and Miranda to first? That could realistically be our best option.

  • Dave

    Here is something crazy. When stars aren’t in the lineup, the replacements are not usually very good. That’s true for every team. Teams usually just want them to catch the ball and fill in multiple potions which Pena and Russo can do. But once again fans are obsessed with offense. Lowell can only DH. Silly.

    Only do Yankee fans require great players at every position and equally good backups to replace them when they go down. It’s ridiculous.

    • Mike HC

      Um, they were debating whether to pick up a guy for nothing under the assumption he will get cut. I see that as discussing realistic options to upgrade the bench rather than demanding all star back ups.

  • Amol

    It’s a nice thought, but I have a really hard time seeing Boston being forced to release Lowell. As long as they’re eating his contract, he’s far too valuable for them to not make a trade.

  • pounder

    You know,I started this reply totally against this move…..then I thought about other ‘old’ vets we gambled on that payed off.Chili Davis,Glen Allen Hill,Dave Justice,Cecil B de Fielder(sorry)Darryl and Doc,Aaron Small,et al. The list has players from Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter to Luis Arroyo,Tex Clevenger and Rudy May to..egads Dave Kingman. I know hoping to catch lightening in a bottle is not the way to go about things,but if history teachs us anything it’s that this move deserves consideration.

  • g-man

    he would be a good dh

  • http://yesnetwork.com davis2

    Lowell was a Yankee long before he was a redsux. If we can do it , give him a shot. I’d bet he would appreciate a Yankee WS title more than boston’s.