SI.com’s Jon Heyman is reporting today that the Mets are falling behind in the negotiations with free agent starter Derek Lowe. Last week the New York Times reported that the Mets made an initial offer of 3-years/$36 million to Lowe.
Since then, Heyman writes, that the Phillies, Braves, Brewers, Angels, and Red Sox have engaged in talks with Lowe’s agent Scott Boras. Heyman says that the Braves aren’t likely to better the Mets offer, and the Phillies still have Adam Eaton’s spot in the rotation to fill. The Angels already have solid starters but haven’t re-signed Jon Garland.
I think the Brewers are the most likely destination for Lowe. They were ready to spend big money on CC Sabathia. And they haven’t re-signed Ben Sheets. They’re in severe need of a number one starter. They could get Lowe for half of the $100 million they offered to Sabathia and still be in decent shape.
The Brewers just have a greater need for Lowe than the Mets do. Although the Mets have a bigger wallet, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to use it on a pitcher that will be 36 years old next season. I like Lowe but I wouldn’t go to $80 million for him, as he’s reported to be looking for. The Mets will be just fine with Randy Wolf, Ben Sheets, or Jon Garland joining Santana, Maine, and Pelfrey. The fifth spot in the rotation could be settled in a spring training competition between Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Nelson Figueroa, Pedro Martinez, or Freddy Garcia. The fact is that the Mets only need the fifth starter probably twice during the month of April. They have plenty of time to settle that position in the rotation.