By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Keeping Schilling and Lowell

The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the merits of keeping Mike Lowell, and adds to the conventional wisdom that Curt Schilling is as good as gone.

Well, it’s not my money, and I understand Dupont’s point that the Sox timed the departures of Pedro Martínez and Johnny Damon pretty impressively. But still — wouldn’t it be worth overpaying Schilling if he’ll agree to just a one-year deal, which he says he will? Certainly it would by crazy for the Sox to commit to eight figures for Schilling for 2009, but he says he’s not looking for that. Just one more year. Let him do it here.

Lowell might be a tougher call. He just had his career year. If he puts up 2006 numbers next year, that would be great. I’d say four years would be too much, but two years would be perfect. But I’m sure Epstein and Lucchino would say the same thing, and Lowell’s probably going to get a better offer. The question is whether a three-year deal makes sense. I guess I’d say yes, with the understanding that we may all regret it about midway into the 2010 season.

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  1. Anonymous

    Dan, that’s a hell of a crystal ball you have. Lowell just had his career year and will be washed up when he’s 36 – you’re absolutely sure?If I’m Mike Lowell and the Red Sox offer only 2 years – after all I’ve done since I got here, and after they gave 4 years apiece to Crisp, and worse, Lugo – I’m outta here.And that would be a huge loss. Have you noticed whose name consistently comes up when the rookie phenoms are asked what veterans on the team have helped them adapt to playing at the big league level?

  2. Dan Kennedy

    To be more precise, Lowell will be washed up on June 23, 2010. You might want to place your bet now.

  3. Suldog

    While I would like to see Schilling retire from us after next year, and Lowell signed to a three-year deal, as long as we stay out of the A-Rod sweepstakes, I will consider all right within Red Sox Nation.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Suldog: Hilarious. I don’t hate A-Rod quite as much as you do. But you just know there are better ways to spend $30m a year than giving it to Rodriguez, even if they let Schilling and Lowell walk.

  5. ben

    Everyone keeps giving credit to the Sox for their decisions after 2004. Actually, I’m not sure they wouldn’t have been fine with Damon and Lowe versus Drew and Clement. Similar contracts (except for Drew’s extensive term).

  6. mike_b1

    anon 11:35: Comparing Coco Crisp and Mike Lowell is the wrong way to look at it. Different player ages, different positions, different timing, different team needs, etc. So if Lowell gets three years, does that mean Schilling would be honked off at one? Nope, for the same reasons.Manny comes off the books after 2008 (the Sox hold an option on 2009, which they most certainly will decline). So you have $20M freed up from that contract, and a huge hole in your lineup. Don’t think that won’t play into the game plan.My question: Why is the Globe hockey writer covering the Red Sox free agent situation?

  7. Dan Kennedy

    Ben: These things take time. Martínez’s and Damon’s immediate replacements were Clement and Crisp, and that didn’t work out. But Pedro’s departure allowed them to trade for Beckett, and Ellsbury is the new centerfielder. The point is that Sox management was either right or lucky in thinking Martínez and Damon were nearing the end of the line.

  8. Suldog

    For those who might be interested, there is an on-line petition to re-sign Lowell and ignore A-Rod.(Not my site. Just happened to come across it, and figure it can’t hurt.)

  9. Anonymous

    “But Pedro’s departure allowed them to trade for Beckett, . . .” Please explain.

  10. Anonymous

    Mike, you’re right about one thing – Red Sox hot stove talk isn’t for hockey writers . . . it’s for media critics.

  11. man who's a red sox fan

    I wouldn’t say Crisp has been a total disappointment. Sure, his offense has been sub-par, but his defense…especially this year…was amazingly good. I’d say at least 5%, maybe 10 or 15%, of the catches he made…VERY few other outfielders would’ve made. That no doubt would’ve meant more than a few games swung out of our favor.Sure Ellsbury could make those catches NOW, and will make them next year, but he couldn’t have done so from April to August of 2007.Drew, on the other hand, is all but a total loss. Sure he “redeemed” himself with that grand slam, but unless he keeps up pace in the playoffs into next season…then he’s been a giant disaster.I also wouldn’t assume that Manny’s extra year option would automatically be declined. Yes, it PROBABLY will, but not if he has at least a “pretty good” year next year…and assuming nobody else steps up as an offensive powerhouse. The key thing about Manny isn’t just that he really can be “that good”, it’s that pitchers KNOW he can be “that good”. You make the slightest mistake, and you know there’s a good chance Manny will pounce on it. Most pitchers merely “worry” about Pedoria or Youk, or even Lowell…it’s Papi and Manny who are flat out “feared” because they’ve hit so well year after year after year.As for Pedro leaving paving the way for Beckett…I assume it’s just that despite some deep pockets, even the Sox can’t afford to have Schilling-money, Beckett-money AND Pedro-money. Well, it certainly would’ve prevented Dice-K-money, anyways. 🙂 Not with what Pedro was asking for.

  12. Anonymous

    The Yankee Perspective Says…Sox better sign Lowell before he opts to test the free agent waters. Yankees would offer 4 years / 15 million per – roughly half of what they were going to offer A Rod (8 to 10 years at 27 to 30 mil). And that may be just a starting offer for Lowell from the Yankees.

  13. mike_b1

    Drew wasn’t a total loss, and any Red Sox fan who has been paying attention the past five seasons knows the management values what he does best: get on base. Oh yeah, and they’ve won two of the past four World Series, so maybe, just maybe, Theo and co. know what they are doing.

  14. Notta Yawkey

    If management gave Pedro the gate for half the home games he was went.Pedro is a very proud man and resented more than anyone knew the fact that the Red Sox would not contract with him prior to his final year.Truth be told, no player ever missed playing for the Sox.

  15. mike_b1

    notta, did you see Kevin Millar before the World Series?

  16. Anonymous

    Truth be told no player ever missed playing for the Sox Try Bruce Hurst, Fred Lynn, Pudge Fisk, and yes Pedro to name a few. Martinez was so overwhelmed on his return to the Fenway mound that he appeared rubber-legged and barely lasted three innings. Petey wasn’t going to return to any team where he wasn’t the ace of the staff. He wanted out.

  17. Larz

    Maybe Boston could trade Lowell for Danvers. Nah, they’d find no asylum there!zzzzzz

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