Sunday, March 21, 2010

Boston Herald: Lowell could be an Astro

The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman says there are four possible destinations for third baseman Mike Lowell:

There are four teams to keep an eye on as possible landing spots for Lowell: the Astros, Rangers, Marlins and Twins.

Why in the world would the Astros need Mike Lowell? Well, for one: he's old. And two: he's been injured. So naturally that would make him a perfect fit in Houston. But that's not why Silverman thinks he'd fit in Houston:

The knee surgery on Houston first baseman Lance Berkman went well, but he remains iffy for Opening Day. If he progresses as expected, the Astros may feel fine having 36-year-old Geoff Blum as a temporary first baseman. But if a hitch develops in Berkman’s recovery or the team’s confidence in Blum falters, expect Lowell’s name to command more attention.

A couple of things here: When the Rangers and Red Sox had a tentative deal in place, the Red Sox were going to pay $9m of Lowell's $12m salary, and the Rangers were going to send catcher Max Ramirez, the Rangers' 2nd-ranked prospect (according to Baseball Time in Arlington).

So if that were to hold true, if the Astros have to pay $3m AND give up a high-ceiling prospect, I can't see it happening. Even if Blum "falters," the Astros aren't expecting Berkman to be out long enough to warrant needing such a high-priced back-up plan.

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