Source: Lowell has torn thumb ligament

Updated: December 20, 2009, 2:15 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

The proposed trade between the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox involving Mike Lowell is off, according to a source.

The reason: Lowell has a torn radial collateral ligament in his right thumb and will have surgery after Christmas.

The recovery time for the surgery is six to eight weeks. The diagnosis was made in the last two days. Lowell saw a hand specialist in Arizona on Friday and met with physicians in Arlington on Saturday morning as part of a physical with the Rangers.

Lowell
Lowell

The Rangers and Red Sox had agreed to the framework of a deal at the winter meetings in Indianapolis earlier this month. The Rangers were prepared to send catcher Max Ramirez and $3 million to Boston for the 35-year-old Lowell. The Red Sox would pay $9 million of Lowell's 2010 salary.

Texas wanted Lowell to split DH duties with David Murphy and back up Chris Davis at first and Michael Young at third. Now that the deal is off, the Rangers will continue their search for a right-handed bat.

But the Rangers had concerns about Lowell's right thumb and wanted to be sure he was healthy before the deal could be finalized. Lowell injured the thumb taking batting practice during the final weekend of the 2009 season, one in which he batted .290 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs in 445 at-bats.

He's had injury concerns the last few seasons. Lowell strained ligaments in his left thumb in 2008, causing him to go on the disabled list. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right him in October 2008 and returned in time for the 2009 season.

This means the Rangers remain in the market for a right-handed bat. They have shown interest in Jermaine Dye, Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome.

"I expect we'll still add to the club in a few spots," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We've been in regular contact with guys we're interested in and I like our options. Fortunately for us, the market is relatively strong in the areas we're looking at."

Richard Durrett covers the Texas Rangers for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter; or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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