The importance of signing Lowell
Mike Lowell’s a free agent. Normally, I would not care. But this is not a normal year — and that has nothing to do with the World Series title (which they won!). I’m not a fan of re-signing guys based on fan friendliness, likeability or prematurely graying hair, but the Lowell signing makes all the sense in the world for the Red Sox because the Yankees don’t have a third baseman and the market for them is bad. Except that one guy, but we won’t talk about him now. If the Red Sox can sign Lowell, they will block the Yankees from doing the same.
So my next question is, what’s the holdup? It seems like both sides engaged in a little doublespeak, especially Lowell. During and after the World Series, he pledged his commitment to staying in Boston, maybe even for a lower price than he could get on the open (/Yankees) market, but the sides were unable to reach a deal. The Sox proposed three years, Lowell four. I’m not begrudging Lowell for any of this — it’s good business to leverage other offers into more money, unless you’re Stanley on The Office, where it’s just not going to work. But I think there’s a separate point in all this. For all Curt Schilling’s celebrated bluster, he put his money where he mouth is. He said he would stay for less money, and he did. If nothing else, you have to respect the man for that. As someone closer to the end of his career than Lowell, it’s of less importance to squeeze every penny out of his team (or is it the other way around, with the end of the road so close?), whereas Lowell is still in his prime earning years. But still, it’s nice to avoid the drama when you can.
I still believe that Lowell is coming back though, 100 percent. I’m not worried at all. Look at the Sox’ recent history with contracts — the Varitek contract is the best analogy, but the J.D. and Lugo contracts are good indicators as well — and it points toward the Sox throwing on an option year. The money is irrelevant, but I’d guess we’re looking at 4/$50 million.
Sheesh, that is a lot of money.
update from Yahoo:
A Boston television station and the Boston Globe are reporting that four teams, the Atlanta Braves, Anaheim Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Yankees, have each offered Boston Red Sox free agent third baseman Mike Lowell a four-year contract worth between $55 million and $60 million, exceeding the Sox’ three-year proposal.
Ah, I see. So from what I gather the ‘new Sox way’ must be to overpay for guys in their dimming prime (Lugo, Drew). I kid.
“a position where finding a replacement is pretty fucking hard”
Who are the 3rd base replacements this year? There aren’t any unless they’re going after A-Rod. Which I would be all for, but isn’t happening.
Intentionally leaving Youkilis out of the discussion.
“wrong again, PAUL.”
Tek signed at age 33, for what was widely considered an overpriced contract given to the captain of the team at a position where finding a replacement is pretty fucking hard, especially when the guy you’re replacing has had the job for what, 6, 7 years? Lugo signed at age 30, and Drew signed at age 31 at a position that treats older players better. Lowell is 33 now, of course, and that’s the rub. Lowell finally managed not to fall apart over the course of the season and now he deserves a contract through age 38? He’s not the captain, he’s playing at a position where he will be unable to play after 2 years, there is maybe the best 3bman ever technically available, and a brilliant young 3bman also available for a pile of talent that the red sox have a proverbial plethora of.
Lowell isn’t good enough, and that’s all. The Sox won’t give him a fourth year (I certainly hope), and I’d wish they’d limit the third year, too. Let a New York team overpay for a guy to get his dimming twilight. that’s not the new Sox way.
I think the 3 year/4 year game of chicken will drag out for awhile. It’s an interesting situation because the Sox are motivated to keep Lowell off the Yankees, who have few other options. But, if the Yankees sign Lowell, then the Sox could consider a run at A-Rod. So, if the Yankees don’t want A-Rod on the Sox, they have to factor that into their decision on what to offer Lowell.
“Some teams will be dumb enough to pay. Not Boston, though.”
I disagree, citing the contracts I have, uh, cited above.
The Yankees are stupid. I’m starting to think they think that Pedro Feliz will solve their worries.
Furthermore, even if they do pursue Lowell, let them. It will be the exact same situation as the Pedro and Damon deals—they demand too many years and are on the wrong side of 30. Some teams will be dumb enough to pay. Not Boston, though.
Lowell would make sense on a two-year with a third year based on PAs in year 2. I can’t imagine a vesting year four option—I can guarantee that he will be pretty much out of baseball in 2011, as he doesn’t have the bat to move to 1b or dh like Brett did.
Eff Lowell. Miguel Cabrera should start there in April.
I say we trade him for Todd Helton.