Surgery possible for Lowell?

Couple quick things today:

Peter Gammons reports via Twitter (@pgammo) that Mike Lowell might need thumb surgery.  He’s expected, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, to undergo a physical in Texas sometime this week.

Toronto signed catcher John Buck over the weekend (one year, $2 million).  In addition to the free agent catchers who remain on the market, Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro could be a trade target for Texas.  He re-signed last week with the Rays (who also have Kelly Shoppach), a one-year deal for $2.1 million.

Jon Daniels will do a live chat with fans at 10:30 a.m. this morning at ESPN Dallas.  You can head there now and submit questions in advance.

Righthander Luis Mendoza continues to establish himself as whatever the equivalent is to a “4-A” for a player who dominates in the winter but struggles to put it all together in the big leagues.  The Dominican Winter League strikeout leader (70 in 78.1 innings) is 6-3, 2.76 in a dozen Yaquis de Obregon starts, holding opponents to a .243 batting average, walking only 22, and inducing 2.02 as many groundouts as flyouts.  The 26-year-old is out of options.

Six-year minor league free agents who have signed elsewhere this winter: lefthander A.J. Murray (Milwaukee), first baseman Mauro Gomez (Atlanta), and outfielder Ramon Nivar (staying with the Dodgers).  First baseman Ian Gac might have signed with the White Sox.

Righthander Colby Lewis has announced his intention to return to the States after two dominant seasons (26-17, 2.83) in Japan.  Pitching for the Hiroshima Carp, Lewis (now 30) has led the league in strikeouts two straight years while issuing just a tenth as many walks.   

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