Tagged: Derek Lowe

Braves sign Lowe; can now tell opponents to ‘suck it’

lowe.jpg

Perhaps in an act of desperation, the Braves stabilized their shaky offseason by coming to terms with Derek Lowe on a four-year contract worth $60 million today.

Lowe, perhaps best remembered for flashing the Oakland A’s the crude ‘suck it’ gesture made popular in professional wrestling about a decade ago, pitched the past four seasons with the Dodgers, to generally solid results. I kid, of course, about said gesture being what he’s remembered for; in actuality, it was his extramarital affair with a Dodgers beat reporter for which we shall remember D-Lo.

I had hoped the Mets would land Lowe, but their offer of 3/36 seems paltry compared to where the Braves have gone here. Atlanta was desperate to make a splash after bungling the Rafael Furcal negotiations and falling short of dealing for Padres ace Jake Peavy.

Is it sour grapes on my part? Probably so. But objectively speaking, this deal is an ominous one for those teams still trolling the free-agent market for starting pitching. This contract is more in line with one a free agent of Lowe’s caliber would have gotten in offseasons past, not this depressed market which has seen relative bargains abound, save for the Yankees’ high spending.

This almost guarantees that fellow Scott Boras client Oliver Perez will get four years from some team; he’s younger and arguably has a higher upside than Lowe at this point in his career.

Lowe’s deal has ramifications for the Hot Stove and the Braves’ position in the NL East. By my estimate, the Braves are the first team outside the Yankees (and the Phillies’ curious Raul Ibanez deal) to arguably overpay for a free agent, which should bode well for those remaining on the market, particularly the pitchers. Within their division, the Braves have not only added a solid arm to their rotation, but also prevented him from joining the Mets.

Mets close to deal with Redding

Tim Redding is an adequate Major League pitcher, but that’s about it. His impending addition to the Mets’ rotation does little to comfort me.

Concerns still linger regarding Mike Pelfrey’s development and the added strain on his arm from a heavy workload a season ago.

John Maine is coming off an injury and is a one-trick pony on the mound.

Jon Niese is entirely unprove.

But worst of all, this almost certainly rules out either Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez, meaning the Amazin’s will only sign one of them. I may have been greedy in asking for both, but that would have added a ton of depth to the rotation.

I still think Lowe is their man, but that won’t come easy with agent Scott Boras playing hardball. I’d imagine Randy Wolf is a contingency plan in case Lowe and Perez both fall through.

Package deal

With the news of Scott Boras meeting with the Mets brass today came spinning cogs for this Amazin’s fan. The Yanks’ unprecedented offseason spending spree has been well documented, while New York’s National League club has been relatively quiet, signing K-Rod and dealing for J.J. Putz.

Well, now is their chance to make a Bombers-esque splash.

Boras has been called many things, but dumb he is not. He sees the depressed free-agent market (outside of the Bronx) as clearly as you and I do. This is a great opportunity for the Mets to swoop in, improve their team and steal some headlines in the process.

Let’s get creative here, shall we?

The Mets should make their pitch for three Boras clients: Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez.

Would it be financially responsible? Probably not. Would it further enrage the New York haters? Undoubtedly.

But would it address several needs for the Mets? Yes.

The rotation, as it currently stands, consists of:

Johan
Pelfrey
Maine
Neise

Yuck. Pelfrey will have ups and downs; I’m not sold on him as a dependable No. 2 yet. Maine is coming off an injury and was never a sure thing to begin with. Neise is all upside at this point.

Truth be told, the Mets need two starters.

The addition of Manny would create something of a logjam in the outfield, and he’s a terrible fielder. But his offensive production embarrasses that of the Fernando Tatis-Daniel Murphy platoon. Finding playing time for Tatis and Murphy is a “problem” I’d gladly deal with to have Manny in the lineup.

Now, we all love to play fantasy GM and plug All-Stars into every position, but the reality of the contractual commitment is an entirely different ball of wax.

Here are my proposed offers:
Lowe – 3/36, which is already on the table. He’s a 36-year-old free-agent pitcher in a depressed market with a fair amount of mileage on his arm. He’s not getting a better offer than this.

Perez – This is where it gets hairy. Interest thus far in Perez has been tepid, but he’s young and has a lot of upside. No team will make a five-year offer (that’s what Burnett got), and even four seems highly unlikely. The 3/36 offer would actually be quite fair in this market.

Manny – Ah, the crown jewel. 2/60 with a production-based option for a third year. No team will go three years considering his age and history of antics.

And there you have it.