Both the Boston Red Sox and Mike Lowell have seemed to say everything that the fans want to hear, while at the same time they have also managed to play a calculated game of possum. So much so that it has gotten to the point where Lowell is now available to talk turkey with 29 other ballclubs about 2008 and beyond.
At first it appeared as though Lowell would be allowed to walk after this season, then he became team MVP and eventually World Series MVP. The Red Sox having been pressured by their "Nation," caved into the notion of offering a third year to keep Mr. Lowell at that position through 2010. That is until Mikey Lowell (as his almost former and could be future manager Joe Girardi refers to him as) wanted a fourth year in the same vein another Boston playoff hero Johnny Damon did after the 2004 World Series before he too bolted to the Bronx Bombers. Which begs the question, what happens from here?
Lowell will likely field offers from other clubs and someone will offer him that fourth year. Lowell will then likely take that fourth year back to the Red Sox, who then may give him a salary hike over three years in a "take it or leave it" type deal and then ultimately lose him because someone will give him that fourth year.
If I'm Boston am I wary of giving him that fourth year? Sure. But unless the BoSox have something else up their sleeve, I'm not sure how wise it would be to give up a guy who fits so well chemistry wise. Some say chemistry is overblown and has a lot more to do with winning. However, Lowell just fits. He's a blue-collared, tough-nosed, clutch ballplayer. Just as an example, the guy who blocked Lowell in New York, Scott Brosius also coming off a career year in which he won World Series MVP was given a multi-year deal. Brosius was the same mold of a player and while in his last year he wasn't quite the same player, he still had that winning attitude and came up with some big playoff hits in 2001.
It's not looking like a messy divorce for the Red Sox and Lowell, but it's beginning to appear like they will mutually depart while "staying friendly for the kids," or in this case Red Sox Nation.