Mets Make Lowe Offer

According to the several sources, including the New York Times, the Mets have offered Derek Lowe a three-year, $36M contract.

If the Mets can get Lowe that cheap, I’ll be amazed. I find it hard to believe that no other team in MLB can afford a 3/36 deal for Lowe. If I were Brian Cashman, for example, I’d be on a flight to get to Lowe’s house ASAP to make a better offer. Think about it: the Brewers signed Jeff Suppan to a 4/42 deal back in the winter of 2006 — and Suppan was, back then, in a similar place as Lowe, though not quite as accomplished. I realize the economy has changed in the past two years, but #2/#3 starters who can crank out 200 innings a year and have impressive postseason numbers remain a rare commodity. If the Brewers, for example, allow the Mets to sign Lowe to such a paltry deal, then Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio should be tarred and feathered for his remarkably inane, “woe is me” comments of last week. Three years and $36M is a bargain for a talent like Lowe — a bargain that ANY small market team can easily swallow, from St. Louis through Kansas City to Milwaukee.

Of course, my fingers are crossed that Lowe is crazy enough to accept such a low-ball offer — though that seems like hoping against hope with Scott Boras advising him.

On another note, it is my opinion that if the Mets do in fact sign Lowe to such an affordable contract, they should then have plenty of extra dough to throw at Oliver Perez as well — and spend it on the bipolar lefthander. Enough of this “one or the other” nonsense — sign them both! Last I checked, the Mets have only two healthy MLB starters returning, and will need all the rotation help they can get.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. sincekindergarten December 31, 2008 at 5:03 am
    If they wind up signing Lowe for this (or a pretty low) price, then do not go after Ollie, I would think that it would be because Omar convinced the Wilpons that Manny Ramirez would be worth two or so years.
  2. joe December 31, 2008 at 8:36 am
    If that’s true, fantastic. I get the feeling though, that the Mets are going to say their dealings are done after signing a starting pitcher.
  3. isuzudude December 31, 2008 at 8:47 am
    Methinks this “rumored” offer by Omar is a way of showing Lowe how ridiculous his 5-yr, $90-mil demand is. If Boras and Lowe want to severely overvalue the pitcher’s services, then as a negotiating ploy Omar is going to significantly undervalue his services, with the hopes of meeting somewhere in the middle. There’s no chance Lowe signs for 3/$36, and I’d bet Omar knew that if this offer is true. But there’s equally as little of a chance of Lowe signing for 5/$90. Hopefully, this sets up a more realistic 4-yr, $60-mil offer ($15-mil per season average), maybe with a team option for a 5th year or an option built in based on performance. With suitors laying low and spring training fast approaching, I believe Lowe will be cool with that offer. And if so, I doubt the Mets then also pony up for Ollie. They’ll take the safe route and re-sign Pedro as the #5, keep Niese and Parnell on the backburner in AAA, and maybe bring in a few bottom of the barrell guys just to keep things competitive.
  4. joe December 31, 2008 at 9:03 am
    Could be, ‘dude. Only problem is, every time an owner tries to play the negotiating game with Boras, they get their butt beat but good. What concerns me is the deafening quiet around Lowe … there hasn’t been a rumored offer out of anywhere. Typical Boras, who always has mystery teams ready to pounce on a guy.

    Good luck to Omar and this strategy. However I hope someone told him he’s not dealing with Paul Kinzer.

  5. Micalpalyn December 31, 2008 at 12:06 pm
    methinks Omar is further showing his mettle. i think 3/36 is fine. note the same 5/75m tag was associated with k-rod too. given age and other outliers i dont think this will elevate beyond a vesting option yr.

    Remember last yr when kyle lohse was simirly tagged? IF he balks then he get be stuck with a Loduca-esque 1yr deal with incentives and IF he goes to ATL his chances of winning are not good, similarly the Nats or orioles. HIS choices are the Yanks, R-sox and Mets and so therefore I think he takes the Mets offer, (at 12/13M) and adds a vesting 4th yr @15M.

    I still think this $$$$ saving will only get Omar interested in a trade for a slugger, signing Hudson and eating some Castillo $$$ . I think Omar has a 130M budget and will use the resources.

  6. joe December 31, 2008 at 12:11 pm
    you can’t compare K-Rod to Lowe, because there were very few teams with deep pockets in need of a closer, while every team in baseball can use a starter like Lowe, and even the Marlins can afford 3/36.

    Also you can’t compare Lowe to Lohse. Lohse was wildly inconsistent, Lowe is a sure thing. There’s more value in steady-ness.

    I think Omar is going to save a lot of money by allowing another team to sign Lowe.

    BTW the Mets still have only two healthy starters in their rotation.

  7. Micalpalyn December 31, 2008 at 1:02 pm
    Sorry Joe. There is only ONE team with deep pockets. That teamdoes not haggle but simply pays the piper.

    IF the Mets were that deep, they could have paid for 5yrs of K-rod. Similarly why not bid 5 yrs on Lowe and crush any 2nd party lurking in the background.

  8. joe December 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm
    Mic, you must be kidding. The Yankees of course have the deepest pockets but the other 29 teams are far from going broke. MLB broke attendance records four years in a row and almost made it a fifth in ’08. is dishing out $30M to each team. These owners are conveniently using “the bad economy” as an excuse to control themselves. Every single team in baseball can easily afford a 3/36 deal for Lowe, and it would be a bargain.

    The Mets didn’t pay for 5 years of K-Rod because they didn’t have to. Again, you can’t compare apples to oranges — this was simply a bad year for K-Rod to be a FA. Without the Red Sox, Yanks, and Cubs in the bidding, and with his own team dropping out, there wasn’t much for the Mets to compete with.

    They’re not bidding 5 years on Lowe because they’re gambling that he wants to play on the East Coast for a team that has a good chance to go to the postseason, and they think they’re the only team looking for a solid #3 starter. I’m not saying Lowe will get 5 years — I doubt it highly — but he’ll certainly get more than $12M/year.

    Watch out for the Brewers, Blue Jays, and the Braves. They all made huge offers to free agent pitchers this winter, and I don’t think that money vanished in the last few weeks. The economy may be bad, but it’s not that bad. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Indians, Rangers, or Royals get into the bidding — they all have some money to spend, need a starter, and think they can compete next season. Heck, the Cardinals could get involved too, since they missed out on Brian Fuentes. Maybe they sign Lowe and move Wainwright back to the ‘pen.

  9. sincekindergarten December 31, 2008 at 4:36 pm
    Gotta agree with you, Joe, on the Braves. I think that Frank Wren is measuring his wallet as I type. But, I had heard that the other suitors–the Braves being one, the Brewers being another–had lost interest in the past couple of weeks.

    Let’s remember that Omar has had his most consequential signings in the month of January. Carlos Beltran in ’06 (was it then?) and Johan last year.

  10. sincekindergarten January 4, 2009 at 5:45 am
    Now over at MetsBlog, Jon Heyman is saying that Lowe wants $16 million a year. The Braves and Phillthies are supposed to be the Mets’ main competition for Lowe.
  11. isuzudude January 4, 2009 at 11:01 am
    If it comes down to money, SK, I give the Mets the edge over the other two. They simply have more of it to throw around. My hope is that Omar realizes the desperation of the situation and ups his offer for Lowe if he catches wind of a Braves or Phillies offer. Because if he’s really not willing to give Lowe more than 3/$36, then he’s definitely not going to meet Ollie’s demands, which means we’re left with someone like Randy Wolf, Jon Garland, or Tim Redding as our new #2.
  12. joe January 4, 2009 at 11:47 am
    Boras is intimating that the Mets need to go up to $16M to “get in the game”, which means there are already teams in that neighborhood.

    One thing we’ve learned about Boras is he does NOT bluff.