Reports are coming from the Sox camp that Theo has made a "strong" offer to our MVP, Iron Mike Lowell. Sounds like 3 years, in the neighborhood of $12-15 million/yr.
While I admit, that seems like a pretty good offer, and I LOVE MIKE AND WANT HIM BACK, I have a feeling that this may not be strong enough. Mike is a smart guy, and I am sure he believes he can get a 4th guaranteed year, or even a 5th, from someone else. Maybe even from those DA*M Yankees. This is likely the last long term contract that Lowell will be negotiating, and from a business standpoint, he'd be silly not to at least entertain other options.
I just get the feeling that the Red Sox are using buzz words in their press statements, like "strong", to give us all the impression that Theo and the Gang are doing their best. And then, if Mikey walks for a better contract, they can say they tried their hardest, in hopes of avoiding an inevitable mutiny. C'mon! In their hearts, the front office HAS to know that there are teams out there already that will be willing to give this guy 4 or 5 years. I'm no GM, but I can see this pretty clearly, can't you?
It's common knowledge that most ALL OF RED SOX NATION wants this guy back. His own teammates have publicly come out in support of resigning Lowell. I can only imagine the reactions from fans, should Lowell walk away. It will be like village men, chasing Shrek and Fiona with their pitchforks and torches, only instead of Shrek and Fiona, it will be Tito and John Henry.
I'm a die-hard Red Sox fan; as as such, like many of you, I get wwaaaaayyy too emotional about these guys. My heart screams out, "MIKE!! TAKE THE HOMETOWN DISCOUNT! YOU SAID YOU LOVE IT HERE... WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?"
But, I am also a realist. 4 or 5 years, as much as I love this guy, isn't a smart business decision for the Red Sox. It's only smart for Mike Lowell. Today, I feel the emotion of another World Series ring in hand, which causes me to wonder why you'd want to mess up the current mix of players. That's today. In 3 years, when Mikey is a little older, and his swing is a little slower, and his back and knees are a little more tender, having the extra 15-16 million for less production for an additional 1-2 years won't be so smart. No matter how good looking and nice I think he is over there at third base!
Hey, I could be wrong; maybe Mike will bite at the 3 year offer, and come back to Fenway. I've misjudged many things that have happened so far in this short off-season:
- I cried like a baby when Schill left the mound in Game 2 of the WS. I was SURE it was his last time in Boston in a Red Sox uniform... I was Wrong.
- I expected Torre back, and Cashman fired. I expected Mattingly in, and Joe Girardi a longshot... I was wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong on all 4 counts.
So hey, I could certainly be wrong again. Maybe. Let's hope I'm wrong, anyway!