Red Sox keep World Series MVP Lowell with three-year deal
"Well Sam. I've heard you ask that before," Epstein said, chuckling. "We're going to hold off. We're very happy with the contract that we signed Mike to and look forward to a great three years. Appreciate the interest, though."Another possibility was the New York Yankees, who wanted Lowell to switch to first and could've hurt their major rival with the signing.
"This utter hatred for the organization I just don't have because they actually helped me in a big way," said Lowell, who was drafted by the Yankees and came up through their organization.
His interest in New York "was somewhat diminished by the fact of moving to first," he said.Lowell gets $12 million in each of the next three years and a $1.5 million signing bonus.
"The tough part was searching between four years from other teams and three years with the Red Sox, but I can't say that I'm upset with the situation," Lowell said. "I mean, how can you be upset with the money that I'm going to be making in the next three years and with the team that I believe is going to compete for a world title."
In the three weeks since winning their second championship in four seasons, the Red Sox have re-signed their two biggest free agents, Lowell and pitcher Curt Schilling, and picked up options on Tim Wakefield and Julian Tavarez."How cool is that?" Red Sox pitcher Schilling posted on his blog. "Leaving years and dollars on the table to come back here for three more years, good stuff. Pretty nice to think you are fans in a town that is now a desired destination for athletes across the major sports. Come a long way for sure.
"Congrats to Mike and I've already spoken with a few guys on the team and suffice to say we're all" ecstatic, Schilling said.Lowell followed a superlative regular season -- career highs in batting average (.324) and RBIs (120) to go with 21 home runs in 154 games -- with an outstanding October. In Boston's four-game sweep of Colorado, Lowell hit .400 (6-for-15) with four RBIs, three walks and a team-high six runs in winning the World Series. He homered, doubled and scored twice in the Game 4 clincher at Denver's Coors Field en route to being named the World Series MVP. Lowell, who made $9 million last year, was selected by the Yankees in the 20th round of the 1995 amateur draft. He played eight games for New York in the 1998 season before being dealt to the Florida Marlins in February 1999. He was acquired by Boston from Florida in November 2005 in the Josh Beckett trade.
Lowell's teammates and fans made clear that they wanted to see him back in Boston -- and urged them not to pursue Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who became a free agent before deciding to return to New York.
"Forget about A-Rod. We've got Mike Lowell in the house," Ramirez yelled out during the team's victory parade through Boston.
A four-time All-Star, Lowell was the honorary grand marshal at a Disney World parade last week. In announcing his new contract, the team also said Lowell had been named this year's Thomas A. Yawkey Award recipient, as the team's most valuable player. He becomes just the third Red Sox third baseman to win the award, after Frank Malzone in 1957 and 1959, and Wade Boggs in 1985.
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