Thumb injury concerns Rangers

Updated: December 18, 2009, 11:58 AM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Mike Lowell has not had a physical yet with the Texas Rangers, but that will likely happen this weekend, according to a major league source.

The Boston Red Sox and Rangers have worked out the framework of a deal, which would include sending catcher Max Ramirez and $3 million to Boston in exchange for Lowell. That means Boston would end up paying $9 million of Lowell's salary.

The Rangers want to be sure Lowell is healthy. The biggest concern is his right thumb, which Lowell jammed while taking batting practice the final weekend of the season. The 35-year-old has called the injury a sprain, and it is not known whether he will need surgery to repair it. The physical should give the Rangers a better idea if that's the case.

Lowell has dealt with injuries the last few seasons. He strained ligaments in his left thumb in 2008, causing him to spend some time on the disabled list. Lowell had surgery in October 2008 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip and returned in time for the 2009 season.

Lowell, who hit .290 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs in 445 at-bats last season, will be in the final year of a three-year, $37.5 million contract.

If Lowell does indeed join the Rangers, manager Ron Washington said he would use him primarly as a DH, but also at third base and first base.

Third baseman Michael Young said he'd like to have Lowell on the team.

"I'm a huge Mike Lowell fan," Young told ESPNDallas.com on Wednesday. "I've gotten to know him personally. He can hit, has great hands and he's a pro. The guy has two rings. That's two more than pretty much everybody in our clubhouse. He'd be a great addition to our team."

Richard Durrett covers the 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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