Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Braves buy high on Lowe

I am sorry the Mets didn't get Derek Lowe, and sorry that the Braves did. But four years and $60 million is a lot to pay for a pitcher who is good, not great, and will be 39 at the end of his contract. The Mets have spent the last two years paying Pedro Martinez $13M a year and getting nothing in return. Next year, Billy Wagner gets $10M to rehab his arm.

But when Wagner and Pedro signed their contracts there was the potential for them to perform at star levels as long as they were healthy. Lowe has been solid, but isn't likely to be having any breakout seasons at his age.

And while any team would be pleased to have similar results to what Lowe produced the last four years in L.A., bear in mind that Dodger Stadium is a pitchers' park and Lowe's numbers were a lot better there than they were on the road:

2008 Home: 2.30; Road 4.42
2007 Home: 3.51; Road 4.19
2006 Home: 3.18; Road: 4.13
2005 Home: 3.74; Road: 3.48

Let's hope nobody else makes a play for Oliver Perez, so the Mets can get him back at a fairly reasonable price.

Whatever you may think of Ollie, if the Mets don't get him, they are going to go into 2009 with a suspect rotation. If Omar Minaya is really planning to turn to the likes of Randy Wolf, he'd better bring along Cardinals' pitching coach Dave Duncan, who has worked miracles with reclamation projects like Jeff Weaver.

Wolf has been with four teams in four seasons, and with good reason. Along with his varied injuries, he has had an ERA under 4.23 once in the last six years.

Last year, Wolf pitched for San Diego. Check out his stats in pitcher friendly Petco vs. on the road:

2008 Home: 2.98; Road: 5.76

If the Mets end up going with the likes of Wolf, they'd better use the money they'd be saving on pitching on a corner outfielder that can hit.


Squawker Lisa, thanks for pointing out that Mo Vaughn got six votes for the Hall of Fame. Other ex-Mets who got votes included the actual Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson (though somehow I doubt he'll go in wearing a Met cap) and Jesse Orosco, who got one vote.

Along with Vaughn, David Cone got 21 votes while Jay Bell got 2 votes. All three appeared on the 2003 Mets, along with three players who actually can expect to be in the Hall someday: Mike Piazza, Tom Glavine and Roberto Alomar. But Fame was quite fleeting for this Met team - they finished 66-95.

If the Mets give out another good-sized contract, would you rather see it go to Oliver Perez or to an outfielder like Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu? Tell us what you think.


Anonymous said...

I like lowe, but 4-60 is too much for him. the first 2 years may look good, but the final 2 will determine whether the signing panned out or not.

I'd like to see the mets take a flyer on sheets. health risk, yes, but when healthy he has ace potential.

I don't think the mets would be better with dunn or abreu, or manny for that matter. they need to add a piece, someone like Hudson, to add a little more balance to the lineup.

despite the disappointment over lowe, it has been a successful offseason thus far. the bullpen, last years disaster, is vastly better now. that will pay big dividends for us.

mhochman said...

Is Ollie inconstant at times? oh yeah, BUT, he's a lot younger than Lowe, if we are going to spend, i want us to get YOUNGER, not older.

While Lowe would have helped solidify our rotation the Braves spent way way way way WAY too much on him.

I am not Devastated that we didn't sign him, however if we now fail to sign Ollie we're going to need one of our Prospects to step up.

I'm not in Panic mode yet.

Uncle Mike said...

Jon: First of all, the Mets' rotation is always suspect. Second of all, don't say "Jeff Weaver!"

As for Derek Lowe, you're right that the Mets going after him probably wouldn't make much of a difference. I don't see him helping the Braves, not in the NL East as currently constituted. Right now, the Braves are better than only the Nationals, and the Nats aren't going to be a 102-loss team forever with their young players.

Let's see, Rickey Henderson getting elected to the Hall of Fame makes it 14 members with a connection to the Mets, and 47 with a connection to the Yankees. But if you count only players (leaving out Casey Stengel, Mel Allen and Bob Murphy, for examples) who are generally associated with the teams in question, it's 19 for the Yankees, and 2 -- Tom Seaver and Gary Carter -- for the Mets. And in neither case is Henderson included in those totals. (Not that I'd want him. He did the Yankees no favors, and did even less than that for the Mets.)

And do you really think Roberto Alomar will make it? And even if he does, will anybody choose to remember him as a Met? Or will Met fans remember him as somebody they got far too late, like Willie Mays, Duke Snider and Warren Spahn (ex-Boston Brave who famously said, "I'm the only guy who played for Stengel both before and after he was a genius")?

Anonymous: A healthy Sheets would be a very good pickup. But with the Mets' luck, a healthy Sheets may not be what they get. Abreu might help, but putting Manny Being Manny in there with Jose Being Jose would be like handing a drunk a loaded gun. You never know who might get hurt.

mhochman is right: Trying to keep Oliver Perez is probably the Mets' best pitching option at this point. Perhaps I should add, "Write your own punchline."

Ryan O said...

Boras does it again...

If the Mets offer was supposedly 3 for $36...why didnt the Braves get him at 3 years for $45? Weird...its kind of the same feeling when i found out that Zito had signed with the Giants....

"oh man he signed with someone else?"

"For how much?"

"Holy crap! Tell them good luck!"

We all know how that turned out.

I would take Ollie for 4 years $40 million. Don't know if i would go that much higher since there doesn't seem to be too much interest in him at the moment.

If they don't get Perez...does likelyhood (albeit low) of signing Manny go up?? I know he's a dufus, but he's a hitting savant.

Think of this lineup...

1 - Reyes
2 - Beltran
3 - Manny
4 - Delgado
5 - Wright
6 - Church

Who cares who's hitting 7th or 8th

Uncle Mike said...

Oh, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan... How many of us have regretted the words, "He's a dufus, but... " And "Who cares who (is assigned to to perform fill-in-the-task)."

"Who cares who's the bridge to Johan Santana and Billy Wagner? We've got Johan Santana!"

Ryan O said...

hahahaha im allowed to dream right? Here's a quiz..what team is asking these questions about their new players??

1)he's 290 pounds but....

2)he's only had 2 good years that happened to be contract years but....

3)he's never finished in the top 6 in MVP voting but....

Anonymous said...

hochman, it doesn't really matter that ollie is younger than lowe, just means that he has more years ahead of him to be inconsistent.

mhochman said...

Lol, yes, that is a possibility, but i just can't see giving that much money to someone who will be almost 40 at the end of the contract. Haven't we learned in the past few years that contracts like that just bite us in the a$$?

Anyway, i prefer to see him being younger as having more time to become consistant. course with our luck, he'll become consistantly bad.

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