Signing high profile free agents should be a breeze for the Dodgers once it becomes common knowledge that ownership supplies hands-on marriage counseling as part of the deal. From the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke.

“I’ve pitched in so many big games in my career, I always thought I could overcome anything,” Derek Lowe said. “But last summer, what happened in my personal life, I couldn’t overcome.”

Lowe was talking about his publicized marital problems with wife Trinka, a situation that brewed through the season before becoming public in late July amid reports that he was having an affair with Carolyn Hughes (above), Fox Sports Net’s Dodger reporter.

Lowe has since filed for divorce and moved in with Hughes, and says he finally has a handle on his personal affairs. The Dodgers have agreed by naming him the opening-day starter.

But last summer’s situation cost Hughes her job and nearly cost Lowe his sanity.

“It was hard, it was hurtful, it was embarrassing,” Lowe said Wednesday in Vero Beach. “You look at athletes, they say it shouldn’t affect you, but you take your uniform off and you drive home and you’re a person, and when things are bad, it’s really tough.”

Lowe wouldn’t talk about this last season. Few newspapers wrote about it in detail because players’ unsubstantiated private problems are generally considered unworthy of print unless they affect their play.

While not diminishing the pain felt by his wife and three children, Lowe now says that the impact on his work was huge.

“I don’t care what you do for a living, when you go through a divorce, it really affects your job,” he said.

He says he lost 25 pounds. He says he couldn’t eat or sleep. Clubhouse workers at Dodger Stadium confirm that on at least one occasion, he stayed there all night.

In late July, the Hughes accusations surfaced on the Internet, then Trinka Lowe gave several interviews.

At this point, at McCourt’s urging, Lowe met with club President Jamie McCourt, who Frank says has experience in marital counseling and law.

Sources say that meeting did not go well and that she wanted to trade him, although Frank McCourt denied it.