According to New York Newsday, the Yanks are conceding Scenic Lowell to the Red Sox.

Mike Lowell’s return to the Red Sox appears inevitable, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is resigned to the fact that Alex Rodriguez’s replacement will have to come via the trade market.

Lowell, the 2007 World Series Most Valuable Player, could re-sign with the Red Sox before Tuesday, when free agents can begin negotiating with other clubs. The two sides had differed in number of years on the contract, but it’s believed they’ve found common ground there. Lowell likely will sign a deal that guarantees him three years. “I personally believe the player’s preference would be to stay in Boston,” Cashman said. “I believe that’s probably accurate.”

Cashman has been in regular contact with Lowell’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, because the brothers also represent Yankees free agent Jorge Posada.

Dunno about you, but despite this positioning, I still can’t believe the Yanks aren’t working a full-court press for Lowell, even if it’s being done on the down-low, complete with coded messages, secret handshakes, decoder rings and at least one guy named “Salvatore.” I just never trust ‘em, especially after that one game playoff in ’78, when the Yanks secretly removed Sox skipper Don Zimmer’s brain and replaced it with a Table Talk pie.

Closer to home, Eric Wilbur knows there’s some risk in signing Lowell, but when compared to that other available third baseman, well…

Still, as much as it seems that the Red Sox may indeed have an interest in re-signing Lowell, it would indeed be an upset in that it’s the kind of deal the team has opted not to give its other aging superstars (Johnny Damon, Pedro Martinez) in the past. Lowell has hit .300 just once in his career (this season), and at the age of 33, doesn’t project to improve offensively. It likely won’t get any better than it did in 2007, and the Red Sox’ long-term forecasts are sure to show that. Unless you’re a franchise catcher, guys who are going to be 34 when the next season starts aren’t likely to get a $60 million deal from this regime.

On the other hand, what’s $60 million when your next-best free agent option is going to be seeking somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 years and $300 million?

And as the final moments tick away in our exclusive window of negotiation, Rob Bradford underlines the bottom line:

Following yesterday’s talks, both sides understand that Lowell will certainly be able to garner more money from teams such as the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies or Los Angeles Angels than he would from the Red Sox.

The question that continues to linger is how much the 33-year-old third baseman is willing to leave on the table in order to remain with the Sox.

Where will it all end? Who will sign on the line that is dotted when the smoke clears and the last beer has been sucked down? Stay tuned.

Also, fans of Kevin Youkilis and fans of watching guys shaving should make their way to the Cask n’ Flagon tomorrow at 5:00pm, where Youk will shave off his signature goatee for charity. As if you have anything better to do…