Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thanks Atlanta

It comes as no surprise to see that Derek Lowe signed with the Atlanta Braves this morning. Lowe and the Braves came to terms on a 4 year/$60 million dollar contract that makes Lowe the Braves highest paid player. The Braves have had a very difficult off season already between their failed attempt to land Jake Peavy, missing out on Rafael Furcal, and letting John Smoltz sign with thr Red Sox. They needed a splash.

And a splash is exactly what Lowe will give them. For $15 million per season, the Braves not only acquired a big time pitcher, but they also acquired a name, who can help ease the blow of losing Smoltz.

For the 36 year old Lowe and agent Scott Boras, this contract has to make them feel vindicated in some way. For so long all we kept hearing about was how the only offer on the table for Lowe was 3 year/$36 million from the Mets and that no other team was showing much interest. Amazingly, Boras was able to get $24 million more from the Braves even though Lowe had no other offers in the $40-$60 million dollar neighborhood. The Braves became desperate for a splash and played right into Boras's hand.

As for the rest of the league, this contract will help set the bar for the rest of starting pitchers out there, namely Oliver Perez. There is no doubt now that Perez and agent Scott Boras will be looking for a deal similar to Lowe's, even though there has limited interest in Perez. The Mets apparently offered Perez a 3 year/$30 million dollar contract that seemed to be pretty fair before today, but after hearing Lowe's contract, there is no way Boras and Perez will accept that. It will probably take a contract similar to Lowe's, in both years and dollars, for the Mets to land Perez now.

So it's now pretty unrealistic to think that the Mets could re-sign Perez to some bargain contract all because of Derek Lowe and the rival Atlanta Braves. Thanks guys!

So for my Mets, it's time to up the offer. With Lowe now out of the mix, we need to solidify the rotation by locking up Ollie before it's too late. We're probably competing against ourselves to sign Perez so it's important to remain patient and not panic with something stupid.

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