Scouts will be out in force for Lowell

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Mike Lowell served as DH in two Red Sox minor league camp games Friday (going 2 for 4 with a homer, three RBIs and a walk), but you can expect there will be an interested gallery of scouts on hand Sunday when Lowell is expected to make his first start at third base.

"That's what teams really want to see, whether he can still play third,'' one major-league scout said in Bradenton on Friday. "No one expects him to be what he was, but if he can show he can play over there, I think you'll find teams that will be asking about him.

"The money is a big issue -- Lowell is scheduled to be paid $12 million this season -- but you're talking about a guy who can still help you offensively, and his makeup is off the charts.''

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported earlier this week that the Florida Marlins, the team that traded Lowell to the Red Sox as part of the Josh Beckett-Hanley Ramirez deal after the 2005 season, have some interest.

That's not just smoke.

The Marlins, like everybody else, want to see how well Lowell is moving, but they're not sold yet on the mix they have at first or third, a group that includes Jorge Cantu, Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison and Wes Helms.

Lowell spoke with a handful of reporters after the minor league at bats Friday, saying he was trying to get himself ready to play despite the uncertainty of his situation with the Red Sox.

“In a sense I've been like, 'Does it really matter?' But I think it's still my job to be ready, because you never know what's going to happen,” Lowell said. “You just don't. I don't want to be in a position where I'm just going to sulk. You never know. Crazy things happen."

Lowell also told reporters he was getting comfortable at first base and thought he would be ready for Opening Day.

Last updated at 4:34 p.m.