Are there teams purposely hiding their interest in Mike Lowell as a negotiating strategy or does Lowell only have the New York Yankees (4 years) and Red Sox (3 years) as firm offers?
Phillies GM Pat Gillick reiterated to the Philadelphia media on Thursday that's he's not in the market for a third baseman. Either Gillick is fibbing or he truly means it when he says he's devoting the remaining payroll to pitching. Too bad for Lowell because other than Boston, Philadelphia is by far the best ballpark for Lowell to hit in.
The West Coast teams are the wild card. The Angels and Dodgers have been focusing on landing Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera. But the price in terms of the prospects the teams have to give up for Cabrera is pretty steep. That could lead a team like the Dodgers to peel off and suddenly take an interest in Lowell. Whoever loses the Cabrera jackpot will likely be a player for Lowell.
The St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and Angels all denied a Ch. 7 report they had made four-year offfers from $55 million to $60 million. The Cardinals still have Scott Rolen, but are now trying to trade him, while the Braves have Chipper Jones at third and Mark Teixeira at first.
The other issue is how long will Boston keep its offer on the table. Theo Epstein isn't telling, but you can bet there's a shelf life, and Lowell may soon have to decide whether to take it or take his chances that a more significant market will develop.
Lowell, the MVP of the World Series, is scheduled to make an appearance at Disney World's Magic Kingdom Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.