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According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Red Sox and Rangers have agreed to a preliminary deal that would send Mike Lowell to the Rangers for catching prospect Max Ramirez, pending a physical. The Red Sox will reportedly eat most of Lowell’s salary in the deal.
Red Sox ownership still has to sign off on the deal and the team’s are awaiting medical reports, but barring any setbacks, Lowell’s career in a Boston Red Sox uniform will be over after four seasons. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan also reports that because of the money changing hands, Bud Selig would have to sign off on the deal as well.
In his four years in Boston, Lowell batted .295 with 75 home runs and 348 runs batted in. In 2007, he was selected to the American League All-Star team and, later on, won the World Series MVP award. Injuries plagued him the past two seasons to the point that he was having trouble fielding his position. He is likely to split time between DH and third base for the Rangers.
Max Ramirez is 25 years old and will be the Red Sox top catching prospect ahead of Luis Exposito. Ramirez made his MLB debut on June 22, 2008 with the Rangers and went on to hit .217 with two home runs and 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats. However, he went on to play in Venezuelan Winter League and in 50 games he batted .298 with 15 home runs, 53 runs batted in and 42 runs scored en route to winning Rookie of the Year honors over Pablo Sandoval.
The trade would leave the Red Sox with a major hole at third base, which could eventually be filled by free agents Adrian Beltre or Mark DeRosa. As for Ramirez, it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox have plans to groom him into a future backstop or flipping him in a deal to acquire Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay. The Blue Jays have reportedly asked for a top catching prospect and/or top shortstop prospect in return for Halladay.