Monday, July 20, 2009

What Could Have Been: Derek Lowe to the Yankees

Anyone remember way back in December that Derek Lowe was almost a Yankee? Well, according to Jon Heyman, Lowe and the Yankees were almost a match.
The Yankees' new rotation is starting to take shape, as they are also in serious negotiations with free-agent Derek Lowe. An agreement with Lowe appears likely to be finalized in the coming days, as well. The sides were discussing a contract for four years and about $66 million late Tuesday.
If the Yankees did sign Lowe as Heyman suggested, then I assume the Yankees pursuit of AJ Burnett would have been up in the air. It's hard to suggest now that the Yankees would have been better off with Lowe as opposed to Burnett, but the argument that the Yankees should have signed Lowe in addition to Sabathia and Burnett is very valid given the struggles of Joba Chamberlain and Chien Ming Wang this season.

In addition, if Lowe did sign with the Yankees, then I would have expected the Atlanta Braves to explode into a full blown out panic mode. In my opinion, it's completely feasible that the Braves would have either thrown tons of money at AJ Burnett or gave up the farm to San Diego for Jake Peavy.

However, because the Braves signed Lowe, they were never forced to make the panic move to get a front line starter, and as a result, the Braves were able to use their vast trade chips to acquire Nate McLouth from the Pirates this season.

In the end, I think both the Yankees and the Braves are satisfied with their acquisitions. However, Yankee fans have to be wondering what a rotation of Sabathia-Lowe-Burnett would have done for the 2009 Yankees, especially now as the Yankees possibly plunge into the Halladay market.


Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that Derek Lowe is not pitching well this year? He would still be a big upgrade on Wang for 2009, no doubt, but his current contract looks pretty terrible. I think the Yankees are very happy with not giving this guy a 5 year contract. They just have to wisen up and get Hughes in that rotation. And giving 5+ year contracts to 3 pitchers (2 of whom are past their prime years) in one offseason would have been absolutely crazy. As a Yankee fan, I am very happy they stayed away from Lowe.

Jorge Says No! said...

Lowe has struggled through stetches this season. There is no doubt about that. But in a short series, there is no doubt that Derek Lowe would be a great guy to give the ball too. He's playoff tested, a veteran, and has gotten it done when it counts.

I think the Braves will loathe the day they gave Lowe that contract in the future, but for 2009, Lowe would still be very valuable for the Yanks