All Good Things Must Come To An End...

The closer it gets to midnight tonight the clearer it becomes that Mike Lowell will not be the Sox starting third baseman on Opening Day 2008. The Red Sox have until midnight to talk exclusively about a new contract with the World Series MVP but it looks as if Lowell will be heading to free agency.

After being a throw in player in the Josh Beckett deal in 2005, Lowell re-emerged as the hitter he once was while quieting the critics who questioned steriod abuse for his decline in production in 2005. He produced during his two years in a Sox uniform both at the plate and in the field. Lowell had the mind set to play in Boston and was an asset and leader inthe clubhouse.

Lowell has always said that he loved Boston and Red Sox Nation but he has to do what is right for Mike Lowell and not the Red Sox. He only has two obligations: himself and his family. This will, probably, be Lowell's last big pay day and he wants to cash in now. His stock can't be any higher after hitting .324 with 21 homeruns and 120 RBIs as well as being MVP of the World Series; there will, certainly, be a team out there willing to give him four years at $15 million a year. It just won't be the Red Sox.

I don't have an issue with Lowell opting to test the market. If he did not go out and test the market he would be letting the Red Sox determine his value instead of letting the market determine his value. Hence the term "market value." But if any of you Sox fans are hoping that Lowell is going to follow in Schilling's footsteps in sign at the last minute, it's not going to happen. There is a lot depending on Lowell. He's going to set the market for free agents this year. So Lowell will not be returning to the Sox in 2008 but he will be greatly missed.

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