Rangers keeping close eye on Lowell

Rangers keeping close eye on Lowell

BOSTON -- The Rangers still have interest in Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell, but there are still several hurdles before any trade could be completed.

First of all, Lowell has been on the disabled list since June 24 with a strained right hip. He is scheduled to get a cortisone shot on Monday to help loosen the joint and possibly begin a medical rehabilitation assignment on Thursday. That would give him 10 days before the July 31 Trade Deadline to show teams where he stands physically.

"I don't think I'm a 31st guy," Lowell said. "I'm going to clear waivers in two seconds. That's not a fear for me. I don't think I have a deadline of that. I don't think there's an urgency for the 31st from another team's standpoint.

Secondly, Lowell is making $12 million this season and would still be owed $4 million over the final two months of the season. The Rangers can't afford to pick that up and the Red Sox don't want to eat it. The Red Sox payroll is pushing the luxury tax threshold and it's preventing them from making a major move at the Trade Deadline.

If the Red Sox can move Lowell's salary, that would free up money for them to make another move. The Rangers would like Lowell as a right-handed-hitting first baseman and pinch-hitter, and word is he would welcome a trade to Texas

"I've heard talks, but I've heard talks for eight months," Lowell said. "I have no idea. I don't know the situations other teams are in, whether it's a need or what, I don't really care to know either. I think you'll drive yourself crazy trying to break down every team. I just want to be in a position where I can play."

The Rangers are also interested in Orioles infielder Ty Wiggington, who just appeared in his first All-Star Game. But the Orioles aren't interested in trading him until they get second baseman Brian Roberts back from the disabled list.