The proposed trade that would send third baseman Mike Lowell from Boston to Texas is being held up by the Rangers' concern over the slugger's right thumb, the Boston Globe reported yesterday.
The teams reached agreement Wednesday to send minor-league catcher Max Ramirez to Boston, with the Sox picking up $9 million of Lowell's $12 million salary for next season.
The Globe reported that Texas was not concerned about Lowell's surgically repaired right hip but was continuing to examine his right thumb, which he injured near the end of the season.
Bay likely to move. Another Red Sox slugger, Jason Bay, turned down the team's latest contract offer and is prepared to "move on," agent Joe Urbon told ESPNBoston.com.
Bay, who drove in 119 runs last season, turned down approximately the same four-year, $60 million contract he turned down in midsummer, the Web site said.
The Mets offered Bay a four-year deal for between $60 million and $65 million on Thursday, ESPN reported. The Seattle Mariners also have interest in Bay, as do the Los Angeles Angels, although both have other priorities.
The Red Sox are looking at free-agent leftfielder Matt Holliday of St. Louis as a potential replacement for Bay.
Noteworthy. Toronto agreed to one-year contracts with utility player Jose Bautista and pitcher Dustin McGowan. Bautista agreed to a $2.4 million deal, while McGowan, who missed all of 2009 recovering from right-shoulder surgery, will get $500,000.
Righthanded reliever Grant Balfour agreed to a $2.05 million, one-year contract with Tampa Bay, avoiding arbitration. Balfour went 5-4 with a 4.81 ERA in 73 appearances last season. . . . Righthanders Anthony Reyes and Adam Miller signed minor-league contracts with Cleveland, and Reyes got an invitation to spring training.