Mets Turn Their Attention to Starting Pitching

December 31, 2008

When I heard the breaking news regarding a three year deal worth $36 million that was offered to Derek Lowe, the name, Tom Glavine, came to mind. Again, here is a proven starter with post season experience who is riding out the back end of his career. Unlike Glavine, who was striving for baseball immortality in capturing his 300th victory, Lowe’s major concern is to get back to the East Coast.

“With me, it’s all about winning,” Lowe said. “I’ve already had contact with clubs that are interested, but they’re not ready to win.”

Prior to the winter meetings, Lowe’s agent, Scott Boras had high hopes for his client. Short of a private helicopter to shuffle his “top priority” back and forth to the Hamptons, Boras was negotiating for a contract that fell in the range of $90 million over five years. With those criteria, Boras’ intentions for Lowe are for him to finish out his career while earning $18 million a year.

“Scott is looking out for my best interest. He’s done exactly what I’ve been talking about,” added the former Dodger pitcher who will turn 36, next spring.

Mets’ GM Omar Minaya, apparently, thought otherwise. With respect to New York’s offer, the Mets’ brass felt that Lowe’s credentials would only warrant a price tag of $12 million a season.

When you look at Lowe’s overall numbers, the one interesting statistic that jumps out at you is that since 2002, he has started an average of thirty-three games per season. Lowe’s durability stems from his relaxed style of pitching which has earned him the luxury of avoiding any extended period of time on the disabled list. His body of work has evoked many a ground ball which is what makes him so appealing to a Mets’ ball club who witnessed they share of fly balls last season, i.e.; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis’ grand salami on September 21st against young lefty Jonathon Niese.

“The team with the best chance of winning, year in and year out is where I want to go,” Lowe said.

For his career, Lowe has won more games than he has lost amassing a 126-107 won-lost record. In the past two seasons, he has equaled his strikeout total at 147.

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