The Red Sox, facing a roster bind as they prepare for the returns of shortstop Jed Lowrie and third baseman Mike Lowell, have informed teams that they are willing to assume virtually all of shortstop Julio Lugo's remaining salary in a trade, according to a major-league source.***
While another source told FOXSports.com earlier Thursday that the Sox were "desperately" trying to move Lugo, the second source offered a different view.
The Red Sox, he said, recognize that Lugo is a "sunk cost," and would accept a fringe prospect for him in return. In other words, they are willing to assume the same financial burden that they would if they released him.
A release could be the ultimate outcome. The Red Sox are likely to designate Lugo for assignment if they are unable to trade him once Lowrie returns.
We're either going to activate Mikey Lowell on Friday or Saturday and also Lowrie most likely on Saturday ... So we're looking at a couple of roster moves, and they're important ones. ...Does Tito's talk of not getting too far ahead of himself regarding shortstops means there will be a corresponding decision on Julio Lugo? There has to be, doesn't there? I cannot see the Sox carrying the 3-Ls (Lowell, Lugo, Lowrie) and going with one less man in the bullpen.
If [Lowrie] comes back Saturday, or close to Saturday, he's not going to be at 100-percent efficiency. He's not going to be ready to play every day. ... We can use our shortstops -- and again, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here -- we can use who we have and also give Jed a day built in in between.
Ken Rosenthal says the Red Sox are "desperately" shopping Lugo. Boston is also under contract with the Secret Weapon for $9 in 2010. I can't see any team picking up any significant part of that tab.
While Lugo's batting average is nearly 30 points higher than Green's (.284 to .257), their OPSs are identical (Lugo gets on base more often, Green has more pop). However, in 16 games since June 25, Nick Green has hit .133/.264/.200. Is that evidence that he is turning back into a pumpkin? Does that complicate the picture?
The issue is what will Green and Lugo do for the rest of the season, not what each of them has done to date. Lugo will likely be the better hitter, though his range and fielding will be decidedly subpar. Even with Green's lousy two weeks, the team has shown no inclination to give them near-equal playing time.
It's all speculation. We should know a lot more very soon.
I also wanted to post this, from SoSHer xjack:
I don't think Lugo has gotten enough credit for his professionalism. I can't think of another high-priced Boston athlete who's handled this kind of demotion and humiliation with more class.Tim Wakefield did not pitch in what might be the only All-Star Game of his long career, but he did have a five-minute chat with Barack Obama, who asked him: "How do you throw that thing?"