I write that headline with nothing but the most noble of intentions. I come not to bury Mike Lowell, but to praise him. So I truly hope that this trade is back on.
Mike Lowell has been the consummate professional during his tenure in Boston. The "throw-in" to the Josh Beckett trade, he won the 2007 World Series MVP. His defense and bat have been solid. He has been a great clubhouse presence.
And now Mike Lowell has to go.
When the Sox almost traded Lowell to Texas before injuries scratched the deal, the point of no return was reached. Lowell was no longer the starting third baseman for the Sox...even with no one officially filling the position. When the Sox signed Adrian Beltre to play third a few weeks later...is there something more final than"point of no return"? The Sox have clearly stated that they have no plans for Mike Lowell being with the team in 2010. And to retroactively change that plan because he is injured...that sure as Hell isn't fair to Lowell.
The Red Sox have pretty much played this one fairly. Once they knew they wanted - and had - Beltre at third, they have done the best they can to move Lowell so he can play full-time elsewhere. At best, he would play once or twice a week in Boston. Lowell has no interest in that...and who can blame him? I'd say the only thing the Sox did wrong was to sign Lowell to that 3-year deal and then start trying to move him after the 2008 season came to a close. That never quite felt right to me.
And now all Boston can offer is an occasional start and the possibility if Beltre or Ortiz get hurt or slump, Lowell may be able to fill the slot. That just won't cut it for a player of Lowell's pedigree. So I am glad the Sox are trying to trade Lowell. And if they can't, then the Sox should release him so he can find a job with another team. Lowell has earned that respect from the Sox.