Report: Sox ‘desperate’ to trade Lugo

With shortstop Jed Lowrie and third baseman Mike Lowell set to return from injuries this weekend and pitcher Clay Buchholz coming up from Pawtucket to start tomorrow , the Red Sox will need to make some alterations to their 25-man roster.

Logic suggests that the return of Lowrie spells the end in Boston for disappointing shortstop Julio Lugo, who signed a four-year, $36 million contract before the 2007 season.

This afternoon, FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal confirmed the obvious: The Red Sox are thinking the same way.

Writes Rosenthal:

The Red Sox … are “desperately” trying to trade shortstop Julio Lugo, according to a major-league source.

The Sox can demote first baseman Aaron Bates to clear a spot for Buchholz, then demote Buchholz to clear a spot for Lowell or Lowrie. But under virtually every scenario, Lugo would be the odd man out. If no deal is made, the Sox could release him, the source said.

The Red Sox have been trying to deal the erratic Lugo since last offseason, according to Rosenthal. But he has little appeal to teams in trade because he is due $9 million next season as well as the remainder of his $9 million salary this year.

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As Rosenthal points out, while Lugo is batting .284 in limited time this season, the Sox are 11-16 when he starts at short, compared to a 42-15 record when Nick Green is in the lineup.

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