Most of you who read this site are well aware of the competition for first base between Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis.
Top prospect, Ike Davis is out-hitting and out-producing the competition and is miles ahead of the pack, but his youth and inexperience may have him ticketed for a one-way trip to Buffalo in the next few days.
Jacobs and Murphy have done little to grab hold of the everyday job, and Fernando Tatis has been absolutely brutal with just one hit all spring long and a dreadful .059 average. Tatis clearly could be out of the picture despite his guaranteed contract.
So what will the Mets do to fill first base when the options are either not ready for prime time or too slim to man the everyday job at such a pivotal position?
Well, according to the Chicago Tribune, the Mets may have strong interest in acquiring Mike Lowell from the Red Sox.
The teams scouting Mike Lowell include the Mets, Marlins, Brewers and Twins. His surgically repaired thumb appears fine, and a trade appears likely as the Red Sox don’t want him stuck behind Adrian Beltre, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. “He can still really hit, he can play first and can probably go to third once in a while. If the Sox pay most of the $12 million, this guy is a valuable asset to any team,” a scout told the Boston Globe.
If Lowell was acquired by the Mets, he would immediately take over as the starting first baseman and would be a significant upgrade over the lackluster Murphy who held the post for much of 2009, but ranked 29th among 30 first baseman in slugging last season.
Lowell would also prove more versatile as he can also cover third base and and give Wright the occasional day off to keep him fresh and on top of his game.
Last season, the 36-year old Lowell batted .290 with 17 homeruns and 75 RBI in 445 at-bats.
The only drawback to me is that he’s right-handed and the lineup is already heavy in that department with Francoeur, Bay, Barajas and of course Wright. Still, he may be valuable in a platoon with Murphy or Jacobs and his bat would come in handy off the bench and during inter-league play.
The Red Sox are so motivated to move Lowell that they are willing to pay most of his salary and wont look for anything major in return, most likely a “B” level prospect.
Other interested teams include the Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.
Update 5:00 PM
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus believes that the Mets are the team that is “most likely” to trade for Mike Lowell.
Update 3/22 7:00 AM
David Lennon of Newsday tweets that the Mets are not interested in Lowell:
Mets not interested in Mike Lowell, says person familiar with club’s thinking. Righthanded, injury history & $12 M salary 3 big reasons.
Hmm.. They must have some interest if they’re scouting him, and we know for a fact they are as confirmed by four different sources… Plus they must be fully aware that the Red Sox are willing to absorb most of his salary, so how can the one-year contract be an issue? Finally, his thumb is fine according to scouts who saw him play last Monday…
We’ll keep following it…