What To Do With Mike Lowell

What To Do With Mike Lowell

What in the world has happened to Mike Lowell?

I clearly remember November of 2007. I watched the Red Sox World Series parade from the window of my dorm room during my senior year of college and got to see a then-beloved Manny Ramirez initiate a chant: “RE-SIGN LOWELL.”

After being a throw-in piece in the Josh Beckett/Hanley Ramirez trade with the Marlins, the third-basemen would have been eligible for free agency immediately after becoming the MVP of the 2007 World Series. The Red Sox seemed hesitant at first, well with Alex Rodriguez opting out of his contract with the Yankees and heading towards of a future of uncertainty and because of Lowell’s age; he would be turning 34 prior to the 2008 season. Still, the RE-SIGN LOWELL chants, Facebook groups and emails must have set off something because the Red Sox did just that.

However, two years into his three year deal plus a few stints on the disabled list later and Mike Lowell suddenly becomes disposable. Trade talks circulated around the clubhouse last season in regards to acquiring a power-hitting first basemen while moving Kevin Youkilis over to third base. Mike Lowell’s position was long-gone not even halfway into his new contract.

During this past offseason, Theo Epstein brought in Adrian Beltre to play the hot corner. Beltre was instantly thought of as a defensive upgrade over Lowell but was presumably unable to determine whether or not he’d power over number 25 offensively.

As it stands as of June 9, Lowell has only 70 at-bats with only one RBI in his last ten games dating back to May 11. He has become a bench player along with the likes of Jeremy Hermida and Josh Reddick. His numbers are disappointing and his general attitude towards the media and recent comments have been discouraging to hear–all after receiving the biggest ovation of any Boston player on Opening Day.

How quickly will the fans chant RE-SIGN LOWELL at the end of this season? That is, if he’s even in a Sox uniform for that long.

So what can the Red Sox do with Mike Lowell now?

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

David Ortiz suddenly produces and becomes the instant option for DH–once an option for Lowell has become a distant memory. Beltre has been playing great baseball despite some of his defensive blunders. Still, his .333 batting average and 40 RBI are good enough to lead the team in each stat. Is Lowell’s talent (and .229 batting average) being put to waste on the bench? Not exactly.

Lowell still can produce when necessary and can provide more depth as a third and perhaps even first baseman for the Red Sox. That being said, it’s time to trade Mike Lowell, if for anyone, for Lowell himself.

There are plenty of teams in need of what Lowell could provide. The Red Sox could ship Lowell to the West where a team like Seattle could benefit from him filling in the role of a DH. The White Sox have expressed interest too as Lowell could fill in as the primary third baseman.

In return? Don’t expect too much. Lowell’s stock is down and a mid-range prospect or another bench player seems to be likely.

After all that Lowell has done for the Red Sox, it’s only right to do what he wants. Get him more playing time elsewhere.

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