Welcome back… Mike?
Well, the Red Sox front office really botched this one!
They have been trying to unload Mike Lowell almost from the day they re-signed him following the 2007 championship season. It was like they low-balled him an offer back then in order to appease the fan-base, then were surprised when he shook off a better offer from the Phillies to come back to Bean Town. Last winter he was headed to the scrap heap when the Sox were trying to sign Mark Teixeira. Over the summer he was the odd man out after the Sox traded for Victor Martinez. This off season, they actually did trade Lowell, only to have him returned as damaged goods, when the Texas Rangers medical people discovered what the Red Sox medical people failed to. That is, that Mike Lowell needs surgery to repair a ligament in his thumb! This is the kind of inconceivable error (if it was an error) that really tarnishes the “efficient machine” image Theo Epstein likes to cultivate.
Speaking of which, the Yankees have now countered the Red Sox signing of John Lackey to a long-term deal by trading for Javier Vazquez, and there are some who think this is a much better move than the Lackey signing. Tim Marchman writing on SI.com thinks so:
In the end this looks like a great acquisition for the Yankees, and it is — better, in all likelihood, than Boston’s signing of John Lackey. At worst Vazquez is going to make his customary 32 starts and pitch into the seventh inning in most of them, which is far more than a team with this offense needs from its fourth starter. At best he could give the team a second true ace to match CC Sabathia. Either way the rotation now matches up extremely well with any in the league, and you could certainly make a case that it’s better than Boston’s or Chicago’s.
I’m not convinced that Lackey will prove to be worth the investment, but time will tell. Meanwhile, this is just one more escalation in the Cold War arms race between the two AL East Super Powers. Who makes the next move and what will it be?