Sean McAdam says they "would like some depth at the corner infield spots or perhaps additional outfield help and could be persuaded to part with Manny Delcarmen or Takashi Saito".
So how can the front office improve the offense? A slightly improved bench would be nice, but that won't help the everyday concerns of the club.
So, for everyone who says, "we need a big bat", which of the nine regulars sits? "Corner infield" would mean Lowell is the odd man out, but the Red Sox, having unwisely signed him to a three-year deal after he was MVP of the 2007 World Series, are on the hook for $12 million with Dr. D. for 2010. And it remains to be seen if the Red Sox will eat his contract so soon after pushing away the plate on Lugo.
The outfield is set. Jason Varitek is not being dealt. And it appears that those well-considered cries to push David Ortiz out of town have quieted. Jed Lowrie is probably the lowest guy on the totem pole, but he's coming back from hand surgery, so the front office won't jettison him before seeing what he can do now that he is healthy.
Grabbing a good hitter -- as if there are a dozen or so milling about out there simply waiting for a call -- sounds good, but actually fitting him into the Red Sox lineup/roster is a bit stickier.
Mike Lowell, according to Fangraphs, is 1.2 runs above average at the plate and 8.2 runs below average with the glove. All told, he's .4 wins above replacement. That is not "fine," nor is it merely OK. Stiffs like Jerry Hairston, Mike Fontenot and Kevin Kouzmanoff have had better seasons than Lowell. In fact, the only everyday 3B having a worse season than Lowell is Emilio Bonifacio. And if you don't buy into Lowell's UZR, take a look at Dewan's +/- ratings. The defensive guru says Lowell has made 19 fewer plays than the average 3B.As far as starters, grabbing someone to DH and play 1B -- Aubrey Huff has been mentioned -- and moving Yook to third would make the most sense. But that would mean either putting Lowell on the bench, finding someone to take him off our hands, or DFA-ing him. All three of those options seem unlikely right now.
If you are the Sox, you take a look at your aging, arthritic 3B and realize you need another option. He's barely above replacement level for christ's sake.