Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Mike Lowell rumors

The Internet, or at least some of the baseball-oriented part of it, was buzzing Saturday with the notion that the Boston Red Sox are about to unload Mike Lowell — and one big part of that buzz is that the Twins are very interested in acquiring the veteran third baseman.

Lowell is in an awkward point of his career. He's 36, has had repeated injuries in recent years, is being paid more than $12 million this season and has no real function on the Red Sox roster.

He still sees himself as a regular and has been vocally unhappy about his limited role in Boston. But he makes too much and carries too much injury risk to be readily tradeable.

It's not too difficult to see why the Twins would be interested. Their third basemen — Nick Punto, Brendan Harris, Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert and Danny Valencia have all started at least one game at the position — have combined to hit .210/.278/.278. Lowell, as long as he can stay in the lineup, can certainly hit better than that.

But I've noted before that the Twins have morphed into a slow lineup. Sticking Lowell into the lineup would worsen that; I don't know who would win a lap around the bases, Lowell or Jim Thome, but I suspect you could go get a hot dog and be back in your seat for the conclusion.

Not that that is going to be a deal breaker. The real issues are money (which is probably tied to the price to land him; the more money the Sox have to put up to pay his salary, the better the player they'll demand in return) and health.

As we survey a Twins roster with both Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy on the disabled list, I find it difficult to get enthused about adding another injury-prone veteran.

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