According to a report by FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox have made third baseman Mike Lowell available — and could be willing to pick up as much as half of the tab.
Lowell, who batted .290 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs last season, is due to make $12 million in 2010, the final year of a three-year, $37.5 million deal he signed after the 2007 season.
The 35-year-old lost significant range defensively after undergoing hip surgery after the 2008 season, and according to one measure ranked as the second-worst baserunner in the American League last season, behind only the Angels’ Juan Rivera.
Rosenthal notes that Lowell “benefited greatly” from playing at Fenway Park, with a .932 OPS at home compared to .713 on the road.
It will be interesting to see if Lowell responds to the rumors. He was candid about his displeasure last offseason when the Red Sox pursued Mark Teixeira, which likely would have left him the odd man out since Kevin Youkilis would have moved from first base to third.
The Red Sox could follow a similar plan this offseason if they acquire Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in a trade or sign free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.