Lowe Settles for the Southeast

January 15, 2009

In mid-February, the Mets will be making the necessary arrangements in preparation for this year`s pitchers and catchers. GM Omar Minaya has stated that all those who attend with the exception of Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and John Maine have an outside chance of solidifying the back-end of the starting rotation. Reason being, those three pitchers have already earned their respective spots.

Since the start of the New Year, the Mets` front office has made it a top priority to sign durable and playoff-ready starting pitching with the hope that they will go deeper into ball games reducing the possibility of an over-worked bullpen. Veteran right-hander Derek Lowe is someone who could fill that void. However, that option is now null and void for the Atlanta Braves have succeeded in snagging the right-hander by simply offering a contract worth $60 million over four years.

“When you get a horse like Lowe in the rotation, that takes so much pressure off the rest of the rotation,” Atlanta reliever Blaine Boyer said. “This is good for the bullpen, the starters and all of the position players. This does so much good for the psyche of the players and the fans.”

With the recent departure of long-time Braves` pitcher John Smoltz, and the uncertainties regarding starters, Tom Glavine and Tim Hudson, Lowe`s services now seem much more vital than before. In the past, Lowe has stressed the importance of finishing out the end of his professional career with a ball club that will be able to provide an instant chance of reaching the post-season. On the other hand, the Atlanta Braves have struggled the past three seasons siting rebuilding as the reasons for their lack of competitiveness in an ultra-competitive NL East.

In my opinion, this was a good move for the Mets. They have had past experience with signing veteran pitchers who are in the twilight of their careers. Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine both with exceptional pedigrees were brought in to help a Mets ball club get back to the World Series and we all now how that turned out. If the Mets organization does not fulfill the need for another starter via free agency, they most definitely will choose from within.

“I feel good about my situation,” lefty prospect, Jonathon Niese said this week from his home in Defiance, Ohio. “I’m going into camp fighting for a job, and that’s basically all I’m worried about.”

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