Finally, the Rangers appear set to trade Max Ramirez for Mike Lowell and all the money necessary to pay Lowell. This doesn’t make much sense; even noting Ramirez lousy, injury-plagued season, he has value as a prospect with strong hitting skills and some potential ability to catch. Less value than he did a year ago, to be sure, but still… value. Mike Lowell doesn’t, especially to the Rangers, who have a third baseman, Michael Young, who plays 97 percent of the available innings. For the Rangers, Lowell is a right-handed 1B/DH, and the "first base" part of the proposition is pushing it—his experience there consists of four games in Triple-A in 1998. The standard for being a bat, only a bat, is very high, and I’m not sure Lowell, who may now be the slowest player in baseball, meets it. This is one of those deals that sounds good, "Hey, a free Mike Lowell," but when you look at the specifics, it doesn’t work for the team involved. The Rangers are giving up all of Ramirez’s potential, diminished though it may be, for the kind of player, a right-handed DH, that exists for free throughout the industry. It’s a waste of a resource in Ramirez. I might compare the move to the Dodgers’ acquisition of Casey Blake in that the team’s refusal or inability to take on salary forced them to give up a good prospect. I do not—have never—understood the administration of baseball teams on a penny-wise, pound-foolish basis.
I hope this deal isn't complete and falls through. It would be a huge mistake for the Rangers.