The Baltimore Orioles may not be the Rangers' only trading partner on Wednesday. After agreeing to send Kevin Millwood to the O's for relief pitcher Chris Ray, Texas reportedly is also talking to the Boston Red Sox about a trade for veteran third baseman Mike Lowell.
WEEI.com first reported that, according to sources, the Red Sox are in talks with the Rangers about sending the 35-year-old Lowell to Texas. What would be coming back to Boston in the potential trade remains unclear, though WEEI suggests that young catcher Max Ramirez could be in the mix.
The Boston Herald, after midnight on Thursday morning, reported that "it briefly appeared the deal was done," but later said that a deal has not yet been completed. FoxSports.com also reported early Thursday that a preliminary agreement has been reached.
Multiple sources have suggested that for a Lowell-to-Texas trade to go through, the Red Sox would have to pick up most of Lowell's salary next season. That no longer appears to be a sticking point for the Red Sox.
Lowell is set to earn $12 million in 2010, the final season on his current deal. He could become a free agent following next season.
The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham also suggested Wednesday that the Red Sox could be in the market for veteran Chicago Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley. Earlier in the day, ESPN's Buster Olney said that the Cubs would be open to sending Bradley to the Red Sox in exchange for Lowell, but that deal is "unlikely to happen."
Following the earlier speculation, MLB.com's Ian Browne said that there's "no chance" that the Bradley-for-Lowell deal goes through.
Lowell, who has been a member of the Red Sox since 2006, hit .290 this past season, slamming 17 home runs and driving in 75 runs despite playing only 119 games. Lowell missed several weeks due to injury in early July and split playing time down the stretch following Boston's addition of catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez at the trade deadline.
The Red Sox' thinking appears to be that by dealing away Lowell, they could clear up a spot for the rumored signing of free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre or another player — like the Marlins' Dan Uggla, the Herald suggests — via trade.