Early this off season it was pretty much reported that the Rangers had acquired Mike Lowell from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for catcher Max Ramirez. The Rangers knew that Lowell was having trouble with his thumb; although they did not realize the extent of the injury, until the Rangers medical team had an opportunity to examine him. It was then understood that he needed to have surgery on the thumb and the deal was voided.
The main issue with Lowell’s thumb is why did it take the Red Sox until December, and having to have another team’s medical personel to examine him before they realized he needed surgery. The Red Sox probably knew that his thumb was in bad shape and were trying to get rid of him before the beginning of the season without putting much emphasis on his injury. Then the Rangers medical personel brought the issue to the forefront and the Red Sox could no longer ignore it, so they scheduled the surgery in late December. Lowell is currently in Fort Myers, Florida getting ready for the season, probably to show he is healthy, so that he can be shopped before opening day.
When the Rangers signed Khalil Green to be their utility infielder it was assumed that the bench was set for the 2010 season. Then he didn’t report to spring training and the Rangers eventually voided his contract, eliminating their utility infielder. The position is now open for several in-house candidates to fill the need; although the Rangers could look to trade for a player.
One player who is very appealing to the Rangers is the Cardinals backup infielder Julio Lugo, who is now dispensable since the Cardinals signed Felipe Lopez to be their utility infielder. Lugo started the 2009 season with the Red Sox before suffering knee surgeries and being traded to the Cardinals. Interestingly enough he was acquired by the Cards to fill-in for Khalil Greene during his time on the disabled list last year due to social anxiety disorder. So if acquired he would take the same role for the Rangers.
If the Rangers were to go out and get a healthy Mike Lowell and Julio Lugo, they would be getting the left side of the infield of the Red Sox’s 2007 World Series Champions roster. The Rangers will probably try to see if the internal candidates can fill the holes left on the roster by Khalil Greene not reporting. It would not be a huge surprise if Lugo or Lowell or both end up on the opening day roster on April 5th.