I could definitely see some issues with Lowe joining this team:
Lowe told this reporter that while money is important, he wants to go to a quality organization committed to winning, and no organization, in his mind, fits that description better than Boston.
Would the Red Sox be interested?
That's what Lowe doesn't know. He left Boston after the 2004 season to sign a four-year, $36 million deal with the Dodgers. Off-the-field issues were a big factor in the Red Sox making a tough decision to part ways after he won three clinching games in the postseason that year.
Lowe, 35, who still lives in Fort Myers, Fla., and is expected to be one of the most sought-after pitchers in the free agent market, doesn't seem to think he'll be back with the Dodgers. He was still upset about being lifted after five innings in Game 4 of the NLCS, when he had a 3-2 lead, only to see the bullpen squander it.
Lowe, who was working on three days' rest, felt he was just getting into his rhythm and had pitched his best inning. He went to the bathroom after the fifth, and when he returned, he was informed he was done.
"I want to be with an organization that's committed to winning and that can win," said Lowe, who is scheduled to meet with Dodgers manager Joe Torre this week to discuss his future. "An organization that is going to be there year in and year out and do everything. That's what means the most to me at this stage of my career."
The Red Sox replaced Lowe with Matt Clement, an exchange that didn't work out so well.
The Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Indians, Cardinals, Cubs, Angels, Braves, Phillies, Rangers, Astros, and Blue Jays are all said to be very interested in Lowe.
Lowe is represented by Scott Boras and said he will direct Boras on what's most important to him in the next few days when they meet in Los Angeles.
* He'll surely want a long-term deal, and that's a big risk for a 35-year-old with an inconsistent track record.
* With numerous other suitors, including many with pockets as deep as Boston's, he won't come cheap and the odds of getting value in return aren't that great.
* After putting up great numbers in a pitcher's park and in a DH-free league, he'll likely be overvalued by the market.
* If the Sox are going to spend big money for starting pitching, they're better off trending toward younger power arms rather than aging veterans -- even if the younger ones cost more, which they likely will.
* Signing him means Buchholz, Bowden (and possibly Masterson) will be fighting it out for the #5 spot. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but potentially stalling/stifling the progress of some young studs certainly carries some risk.
* How big a sore spot will his past be with management? Cafardo only touches on them with the "off-field issues" comment.
* There are times when dealing with Scott Boras is a necessary evil, but it should be avoided whenever possible.
* Frankly, the fact that he's harboring a grudge over being lifted by Torre indicates that Lowe's still got a huge immaturity complex.
I've got plenty of awesome memories of DLowe in a Boston uniform. His fantastic season as a set-up man in '98. His phenomenal year as closer in 2000. His successful conversion to starter with a 21-win season in '02. The stunning no-hitter vs Tampa Bay. The huge gonads in finishing off the A's in the '03 ALDS. The enormous Game 7 start in the '04 ALCS, holding the Yanks to 1 hit over 6 innings on just two days rest. His 7 shutout innings in the '04 WS clincher.
I'm just not sure what the chances are we'd ever see that DLowe again in this town -- or even something that comes close to it. So put me in the camp that believes if the Sox are going to spend big on a starter this winter, they're better off going all-in with pocket aces (Sabathia, Burnett, Sheets) than raising the pot with king-queen suited.