Lowell To Stay With Boston After All

Trade To Texas Falls Thru Due To Thumb Injury

After the dust settled, the Texas Rangers deemed Mike Lowell’s thumb injury to big of a risk for $3 million and Max Ramirez.

So, welcome back to Boston Mikey.

The trade that sent Lowell to the Texas Rangers, along with $9 million, was called off on Saturday night as the Rangers found radial collateral ligament damage in his right thumb and ended the verbal agreement.

The deal was pending a physical from both players and approval from the Commissioners office but in the end it was Lowell’s health and Texas’ uncertainty that brings Lowell back to Boston.

Even with a class act like Lowell, it will be awkward for him and the Red Sox to reconcile after repeated attempts by Theo and company to trade away the 2007 World Series MVP.  Lowell has been nothing short of a model citizen and player for the Sox since coming to Boston in 2006 as “throw-in” chip of the Josh Beckett for Hanley Ramirez trade (which, by they way was not under Theo’s watch).

So with the 35-year-old back in the hub, what exactly do the cards hold for the hobbled third-basement?  Well, the Sox have made it clear they are comfortable going into 2010 with Casey Kotchman and Kevin Youkilis manning the corner spots in the infield, so a starting job, if healthy, could be in the cards for Lowell.  

If the Sox elect to choose Lowell, over Kotchman, by the end of Spring Training, its because they think his health is good enough for him to produce good enough UZR rating to keep the saber-metric geeks in the Sox office happy with the range of Lowell at third.

If not, it could be a sticky situation for a professional like Lowell as he won’t be happy sitting on the bench.  Not at this latter stage of his career.  Epstein and Francona have made it clear that they see David Ortiz as the DH for the Sox in 2010 and if the Sox elect to start Kotchman at first and move Youkilis across the diamond, Lowell could be lost in translation.

Not fair for a good guy like Mikey Lowell.

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