Monday, January 5, 2009

What Is Derek Lowe Waiting For?

Last week, it was reported that the Mets offered Derek Lowe a 3 year/$36 million contract. While this proposal is certainly respectable, it was far less than Lowe expected and as a result, he did not accept the offer.

My question is: does he really think there is a better offer out there? And if so, where will the money come from?

The Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Phillies, and Braves all do not appear to be in the running for Lowe's services. Unless someone changes their mind, it appears as though the Mets will be bidding against themselves.

The problem with Lowe is that his performance warrants a large contract, but his age (36) makes teams shy away from giving him the years and dollars that the Yankees gave AJ Burnett. Lowe is much more consistent than Burnett and does not have the extensive injury history of the flame throwing right hander, but it's a near certainty that Lowe will be paid significantly less than Burnett.

So what should Lowe and agent Scott Boras do?

Well, they could accept the Mets offer, which is probably the best one on the table. Earning $12 million a season is nothing to laugh at and pitching in New York will give Lowe the exposure and east coast vibe that he reportedly wants.

Or Lowe could continue to wait the market out, hoping that some team flies in with an incredible offer. However, this move is a risky one. As more time goes by, more teams fill their pitching holes elsewhere and the number of suitors will dwindle.

And finally, Lowe could take a one year pact, which is unheard of amongst Scott Boras's clients. Boras's clients typically max out their earning potential while a one year contract obviously leaves much to be desired for the money hungry Boras. However, this type of deal could appeal to Lowe especially if he believes the market will improve in 2009. A bigger pay day might only be a year away.

But on the other hand, would a 36 year old pitcher really be willing to take a one year contract? I think not.

Either way, I think that the Mets offer is Lowe's best bet. Even if he cannot see it now, his market has failed to develop and $12 million per season might be the best he can do.

I admit that this post is rather selfish: I would love to see Lowe pitch for the Mets in Citi Field next season. But the logical side of me just doesn't see the big contract out there for Lowe right now.

Too bad the Yankees don't need another starter.

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