After claiming Seattle's Ryan Garko off waivers on Thursday, the Rangers left little doubt: Their interest in Mike Lowell is waning.

According to, Texas' interest in trading for Boston's third baseman has been whittled to a minuscule degree, so Lowell is staying put in the Red Sox clubhouse for now.

"There hasn't been much trade activity, if at all, with him this spring," GM Theo Epstein told the Web site. As a result, Lowell will begin 2010 in a role he has yet to experience in his major league career: a reserve.

The veteran played 16 innings at first base this spring, proving to Terry Francona that he can be relied upon as a utilityman. Epstein noticed, too.

"He's swinging the bat well of late, looking healthier every day, and I anticipate him being an important bench guy for us," Epstein said. "No one wishes injury on anyone, but strange things happen in this game and it's a good feeling to have him be able to step in if needed."