The Untradeable Mike Lowell

↵On Saturday, news came down that the proposed trade between the Red Sox and Rangers for Mike Lowell was dead. The reason: Lowell failed his physical. ↵

↵

↵It doesn't happen very often in baseball that a failed physical puts the kibosh on a trade after the deal has been agreed to by both parties, but occasionally this will in fact happen. So what makes this particular case so outstandingly hilarious? Well, the Red Sox were trading Lowell, to whom they owe a whopping $12 million in 2010 in the last year of a three-year $37.5 million deal, offered to pay 75 percent of the contract and the Rangers still wouldn't make the deal. ↵

↵

↵Dan Lamothe at Red Sox Monster posed the question this morning; "How did Red Sox management not know that Mike Lowell's right thumb was in bad enough disrepair that he now needs surgery?" ↵

↵

↵Lamothe references a Boston Globe story that ↵quotes assistant GM Ben Cherington: ↵

↵
↵⇥"When the initial injury happened he, nor our medical staff, really felt it was that serious. It was towards the end of the year, we were trying to get ready for the playoffs and so we didn't want to take any chances, give him some time off to get rested. And even at the end of the playoffs, in our exit physical, he barely made mention of it." ↵
↵

↵There is clearly egg on the face of the Red Sox, and both Lamothe and the Globe's Peter Abraham run through the fallout in Boston. First, will Lowell be able to play at all? Cherington thinks this issue will be resolved and that the injury will not preclude Lowell from being ready at the start of spring training. But if the injury isn't that bad -- albeit bad enough to need surgery -- why wouldn't the Rangers take a flyer on the slugger for the bargain basement price of three million dollars? ↵

↵

↵Then there's the whole issue of Lowell heading back into a clubhouse where he was the 2007 World Series MVP and is no longer wanted. He'll be, at best, a $12 million part-time player for the Red Sox and undoubtedly won't be happy with his role; nor will the lesser-paid players be happy with Lowell taking up such an expensive ride on the pine. ↵

↵

↵Abraham suggests that once he's healthy and shows he can swing a bat during spring training -- not swing a bat for power or swing a bat for average, just physically swing a bat in his hands -- the Sox may try to deal him again. Abraham, too, poses the question 'how did the Red Sox not know Lowell's thumb was this bad,' but neither writer asks the question of whether or not the Sox were willing to sell for 25 cents on the dollar because they knew his thumb was this bad. ↵

↵

↵You'd like to take Cherington, and therefore Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, at his word, but what if this trade were the equivalent of driving to the DMV with a tail-light out and praying the guy inspecting your car is too lazy or hung over to notice? Looks like the Red Sox will be driving around with that giant red REJECTED sticker on the windshield for a while longer. ↵

↵(H/T ↵Big League Stew)↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.