FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Lowell took a few steps toward building his trade value Wednesday, although the impact doesn’t figure to be immediate.
According to multiple sources, the Red Sox and Rangers aren’t close to a deal that would send Lowell to Texas to serve as a back-up for third baseman Michael Young, first baseman Chris Davis, and designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero. The main issue continues to be Texas’ reluctance to allocate the kind of money the Red Sox would be looking for the Rangers to absorb out of the $12 million the infielder is scheduled to be paid this season.
Despite the likelihood that nothing is going to get done prior to Opening Day, Texas has shown the most interest of any team in acquiring Lowell.
Lowell did his part in impressing prospective trade partners Wednesday in Sarasota against the Orioles in the Red Sox’ 14-6 win, rifling doubles to left and center field, respectively. He now stands at 5-for-17 (.294), having notched four hits in his last two games. After playing third base against Baltimore, he figures to play first base against the Twins Thursday.
Asked after the game if he is coming to the realization that he is going to be on the Red Sox come Opening Day, Lowell told reporters, “I don’t know? Am I. I don’t dwell on it, I’ll tell you that. But I really don’t know. I just don’t.”
Other news from Sarasota included:
– Jon Lester turned a solid outing in his final spring training appearance, allowing just one run on three hits over seven innings, walking three and striking out three. He will next pitch Tuesday at Fenway Park against the Yankees. Lester finishes his spring with a 3.12 ERA, having struck out 22 and walked 10 in 26 innings of work.
– Offensively, Victor Martinez led the way with two homers and six RBIs. Kevin Frandsen (grand slam) and Dustin Pedroia (3-for-5, 2 runs) also turned in solid performances.
– Kevin Youkilis fouled a ball off the back of his right knee, but was deemed OK by Sox manager Terry Francona.
– Neither Scott Schoeneweis or Alan Embree distinguished themselves in the battle for one of the bullpen’s final spots. Schoeneweis, pithing the eighth inning, allowed a run, while Embree surrendered a three-run homer on the way to giving up four runs in one inning of work (pushing his spring training ERA to 38.57 in three appearances).