• Heyman: Yanks Close To Getting Derek Lowe

    Posted by on December 10th, 2008 · Comments (34)

    Via Matt Cerrone at MetsBlog -

    In an on-air report for WFAN, SI.com’s Jon Heyman said the Yankees are closing in on a four-year, $66 million deal for free-agent pitcher Derek Lowe.

    And, via Rotoworld -

    Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Yankees are close to signing Derek Lowe to a four-year deal worth between $68 and $72 million.

    You’ll get more analysis from me on this move when it’s confirmed as done. In the interim, what do you think of this move? Please feel free to add comments on your opinion in the comments section below.

    Comments on Heyman: Yanks Close To Getting Derek Lowe

    1. Raf
      December 10th, 2008 | 10:54 am

      Well, at least he’s durable…

    2. MJ
      December 10th, 2008 | 10:55 am

      what do you think of this move?
      ————-
      If true, flat-out idiotic. An old pitcher (36) who has been hiding in the NL for the past four years and whose last two season in the AL (2003 & 2004) were average and piss-poor, respectively. All that money for his “playoff success” is ridiculous.

      If this is indeed going to happen, Cashman’s an idiot for not simply offering Pettitte arbitration and either getting him back for one year at $16-17M or getting the draft picks. With Lowe, Pettitte was just made redundant. How many aging, league-average starters do you really want on your team?

      AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL. After getting Sabathia, Ben Sheets was the right play here. I’m furious.

    3. thenewguy
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:02 am

      Well, this would certainly put a damper on the CC signing. Steve, please feel free to deride Cashman for this. I would rather have Burnett even. At least Burnett has the potential to be really good. I don’t know what Lowe has the potential to do besides be a former Red Sox player. SIGN PETTITTE. SIGN SHEETS (to a short term deal.) DO NOT SIGN LOWE. PLEASE.

    4. December 10th, 2008 | 11:05 am

      ~~An old pitcher (36) who has been hiding in the NL for the past four years ~~

      Lowe’s ERA+ the last four years:

      2005 114
      2006 124
      2007 118
      2008 131

      How is that hiding?

    5. MJ
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:06 am

      After Sabathia, Sheets was the only logical play (besides bringing back Pettitte). What on earth are the Yankees going to do with Derek Lowe for four years?

      Steve – you like this? I can’t figure you out at all. You trash Cashman for getting good young pitchers but then you approve of him signing old farts whose best hope is to be league average for 2 years of a 4 year deal?

    6. antone
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:06 am

      We can only hope that Lowe is following the Jamie Moyer path of success. He does have better stuff than Moyer ever did, so hopefully Lowe can still be effective after the first two seasons of this contract. I still think they are overpaying though, because the contract should be based on the next 4 years, not the last 4.

    7. December 10th, 2008 | 11:07 am

      What I wonder…

      CC is for 6 or 7 years. Lowe is for 4 years. Wang and Chamberlain are not going anywhere, I suppose, for the next three or so. That’s four. Boy, Brackman, Hughes, and the others are going to have to duke it out for that 5th spot come 2010, 2011, and 2012. Unless you let Wang walk and/or move Joba to the pen…

    8. December 10th, 2008 | 11:08 am

      ~~Steve – you like this?~~

      Not sure yet. I need to think about it some more.

    9. MJ
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:09 am

      How is that hiding?
      —————-
      Lowe’s ERA+ the last two years in the AL:

      2003: 104
      2004: 90

      Jake Peavy’s ERA+ the last four years in the NL in a pitcher’s park in a division with the worst offenses in baseball:

      2005: 134
      2006: 99
      2007: 159
      2008: 134

      My point is that Lowe’s been in a pitcher’s park in the NL, facing some of the worst offenses in baseball for the past four years. He’s done well, and I applaud him for that. But he was the perfect pitcher for the Mets here. Dependable, veteran, NL-familiar. Why would the Yanks commit all those years and all that money to an old fart coming from the weaker league?

    10. antone
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:10 am

      Steve – you like this? I can’t figure you out at all. You trash Cashman for getting good young pitchers but then you approve of him signing old farts whose best hope is to be league average for 2 years of a 4 year deal?
      —————————–
      If I’m Andy Pettitte I’m pissed off right now. They are the same age but Lowe gets 4 years and Andy has been forced to sign year to year deals. I think Andy leaves now by his own choice if the Yanks make this move.

    11. antone
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:11 am

      Why would the Yanks commit all those years and all that money to an old fart coming from the weaker league?
      —————–
      Because Cashman is a moron that’s why. I’m officially in line with that train of thought now. Hopefully he proves me wrong.

    12. Corey
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:12 am

      andy was forced to sign year to year deals? i thought thats what he wanted so he could decide to retire without leaving an obligation?

    13. thenewguy
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:12 am

      ~~Steve – you like this?~~
      Not sure yet. I need to think about it some more.
      ————————–

      You can’t really like this, Steve. CC, Wang, Joba, (Pettitte), so far. Personally, I would prefer Sheets to start 15 games, get hurt, and have Hughes/Aceves/IPK start the other 15 games for the 5th spot, than have Lowe for 35 mediocre-to-decent starts.

    14. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:17 am

      I applaud the deal because it makes it more and more likely they stay out of the Teixeira sweepstakes. But how many times will Yank fans hear “just past a sprawling Jeter” before this will be universally recognized as a bad deal?

      I agree with M.J. that the better deal would be something short but pricey on Sheets, while the youngsters keep developing under less pressure.

      But if its accurate (and how accurate has Heyman been this hot stove season?), I have to believe that some young pitchers are going to be packaged for a bat.

    15. antone
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:20 am

      But if its accurate (and how accurate has Heyman been this hot stove season?), I have to believe that some young pitchers are going to be packaged for a bat.
      ——————————–
      I would think so too, but who is even available to go after? It better not be Mike Cameron.

    16. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:25 am

      Well Antone, MLBtraderumors is reporting that Heyman also says that Hank wants Manny in a bad way. So maybe the Yanks do battle with two heroes of 2004 on the roster? And both signed through their age 40 season or so?

      I’d really be amazed if that happened, but I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Sabathia reporting was obviously accurate, as other writers picked up on it. Let’s see if Lowe really is signing as the day goes on …

    17. MJ
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:27 am

      I have to believe that some young pitchers are going to be packaged for a bat.
      ———————-
      Not a pleasant turn of events when you then realize that you’re back to Square 1 with no MiLB depth for in-house replacements if your starters falter.

      It’s why I’d have gone for Sheets and Pettitte instead of Lowe. Shorter deals means you don’t lock out your young talent.

      I am pretty much furious at Cashman right now.

    18. antone
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:35 am

      Not a pleasant turn of events when you then realize that you’re back to Square 1 with no MiLB depth for in-house replacements if your starters falter.

      It’s why I’d have gone for Sheets and Pettitte instead of Lowe. Shorter deals means you don’t lock out your young talent.

      I am pretty much furious at Cashman right now.
      —————————
      If everything we here is true, then I agree.

    19. antone
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:35 am

      *hear

    20. December 10th, 2008 | 11:37 am

      Imagine committing to something like $230 million dollars in accounts payable in one day. You cannot say that the Bros. Stein are cheap.

    21. MJ
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:43 am

      You cannot say that the Bros. Stein are cheap.
      ———–
      As if that would make me like them? They’re the idiot sons of an asshole.

    22. Raf
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:44 am

      I have to believe that some young pitchers are going to be packaged for a bat.
      ——–
      Doesn’t make sense, considering that there are bats on the market…

    23. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      December 10th, 2008 | 12:26 pm

      But Cashman says he’s got a budget, and pitching comes first. Of course, I don’t necessarily believe that Cash was telling the truth when he said that people who are thinking “Sabathia + Teixeira” are living in “fantasyland”.

    24. jmeisner
      December 10th, 2008 | 12:53 pm

      “You can’t really like this, Steve. CC, Wang, Joba, (Pettitte), so far. Personally, I would prefer Sheets to start 15 games, get hurt, and have Hughes/Aceves/IPK start the other 15 games for the 5th spot, than have Lowe for 35 mediocre-to-decent starts.”

      “It’s why I’d have gone for Sheets and Pettitte instead of Lowe. Shorter deals means you don’t lock out your young talent.”

      Couldn’t agree more, and couldn’t agree more with the overall sentiment in this thread. I can see it now, this is going to be Pavano all over again. Seriously, how do we justify paying more for a 36 year old Lowe than the best offer on the table for a 31 year old AJ Burnett right now? Man, this is a mind-bogglingly bad move. Cashman, you suck.

    25. Raf
      December 10th, 2008 | 12:55 pm

      But Cashman says he’s got a budget, and pitching comes first. Of course, I don’t necessarily believe that Cash was telling the truth when he said that people who are thinking “Sabathia + Teixeira” are living in “fantasyland”.
      ————-
      Exactly.

      “The Yankees said they could not afford DAVID CONE and JACK McDOWELL, but three weeks after McDowell signed a two-year, $10.15 million contract with the Indians, New York signed KENNY ROGERS to a four-year, $20 million deal.”

      I’m sure if you look enough, you’ll find other times where the Yanks preached fiscal responsibility, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

    26. Corey
      December 10th, 2008 | 1:01 pm

      im going back (for me i was very young when this happened) but didnt black jack mcdowell flip off the stadium?

    27. Raf
      December 10th, 2008 | 1:06 pm

      im going back (for me i was very young when this happened) but didnt black jack mcdowell flip off the stadium?
      ——–
      Yep. I thought it was hilarious at the time. I think Rags started that game, I don’t remember.

    28. Corey
      December 10th, 2008 | 1:24 pm

      but i mean, was that the reason he wasn’t signed?

    29. yanksofny
      December 10th, 2008 | 1:26 pm

      jmeisner:

      Wouldn’t signing Burnett to a 5 year deal be more of a situation similar to Pavano than Lowe? Burnett has started 30 games 2 times in the past 4 years (both of which in contract years), 29 in another year but Lowe has started 30 games the past 7 years. 4 years might 1 year too much but still not a bad idea for a reliable pitcher who has proven himself in the AL East.

      antone:

      “If I’m Andy Pettitte I’m pissed off right now. They are the same age but Lowe gets 4 years and Andy has been forced to sign year to year deals. I think Andy leaves now by his own choice if the Yanks make this move.”

      Lowe has been more reliable than Pettitte, that’s why he’s getting a long term deal

    30. jmeisner
      December 10th, 2008 | 2:34 pm

      yanksofny: I wasn’t really speculating on injuries or durability, I just meant the contract is going to be similar in that it will be an unmitigated disaster. Yes, Lowe once proved himself in the AL East, but that was for one season when he was 29, and then he sucked the next two seasons. I mean, 2002 was his last season in the AL East, and he gave up 224 hits in 183 innings, sporting an ERA of 5.42. Calling him a proven AL East starter is absurd.

      I don’t think people realize the extent to which the NL West sucks. Seriously, look at the NL division break down for average runs scored by teams in the 2008 season:

      NL East: 752 runs
      NL Central: 756 runs
      NL West: 689 runs

      Ah yes, Derek Lowe certainly has been impressive pitching in the worst offensive division in baseball. Man, this contract is going to be a horrible. How is Cashman making the same mistakes the Yankees made throughout all of the 2000′s? How has he not learned that signing aging free agents through the age of 40 is a terrible idea?

    31. Raf
      December 10th, 2008 | 2:45 pm

      but i mean, was that the reason he wasn’t signed?
      ———-
      I doubt it. He gave the White Sox a hard time before he was traded, and he and the Yanks had an opportunity to hash something out before the season started. IIRC, there were concerns about his arm as well, since he had a lot of mileage on it.

    32. Evan3457
      December 10th, 2008 | 6:10 pm

      Right now, the Yankee rotation is:

      Sabathia, Wang, Chamberlain, Hughes, Kennedy/Aceves

      I don’t know about you guys, but that rotation doesn’t seem very solid to me.

      The Yanks clearly intend to bolster that rotation by signing 2 pitchers from among: Burnett, Lowe, Sheets, and Pettitte.

      Each of the 4 comes with plusses and minuses.

      Sheets is the best pitcher, but it unproven in the AL, and is frequently hurt. The market for him is unknown at this time.

      Burnett has the best stuff, and has pitched brilliantly vs. the Red Sox, but is hurt as often as Sheets, and his reliability factor overall is pretty low.

      Lowe is the most reliable, the most durable, and has an excellent postseason record, but his stuff is the poorest, and he got worse each year he was a full-time starter in the AL.

      Pettitte is the home-town favorite, his character is known, his professionalism is known, but his stuff seems to be fading and his body seems to be breaking down with age.

      The consensus here seems to be that the Yanks should sign either Burnett or Sheets, but only to a short-term deal, and not for an excessive salary, and that if Cashman does anything else, he’s an idiot.

      Well, guess what? The free (agent) market may not permit any of that. It may take a 4- or 5- year deal to land Burnett. You think that’s crazy? Then live without him, because the Braves have already offered one. It may take a bigger offer to Sheets than the alleged 2-year, $26 million reported (I am highly dubious of that report, anyway.) You think it’s insane to give a 35-6 year old Lowe a 4- or 5-year deal. Maybe I think so too, but that’s likely what it will take.

      So maybe they’ll give in and sign Pettite, and then the Yanks’ rotation will be Sabathia-Wang-Joba-Pettite-Hughes/Aceves.

      When you make demands on Cashman that the players will not agree to, that rotation is what you’re demanding.

    33. OldYanksFan
      December 10th, 2008 | 11:03 pm

      I hate the idea of Old Lowe for 5 years. With our youth, I prefer Pettitte and Sheets.
      However…. Evan3457 is correct in that the market determines price/length of contract, not the Yankees. Boston took a pretty big chance with Dice-K. They took a chance by trading H-Ram, who has turned into a stud, for Beckett/Lowell. They took a chance on Nancy Drew… we all laughed at that.

      Unless you are TB/a last place team, and get lots and lots of high picks, it’s hard to win without taking chances. We didn’t pay for Sori and Zito. We dodged a lot of bullets in the last few years.

      CC and AJ/Lowe/Sheets represent both great potential and high risk for the long run. So if we win the WS twice in the next 7 years, is it worth problems in 2013-2015?

      It’s a tough call.
      But ya can’t accuse Cashman of being too conservative or not trying to win.

    34. Raf
      December 11th, 2008 | 10:49 am

      Unless you are TB/a last place team, and get lots and lots of high picks, it’s hard to win without taking chances.
      ————
      And even they took chances, rolling the dice on Carlos Peña & Troy Percival.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.