Lowe about to sign with Atlanta

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has Derek Lowe “leaning strongly” towards signing with Atlanta.

I know four years is a long contract for a 35 year-old, but he’s young blood compared to Smoltz and Glavine. I know $60M is a lot of money, but $15M a year is around what Mike Hampton was making, so we’re used to that kind of chunk of change going to a pitcher, and his track record suggests better health than Hampton. Derek Lowe is a better bet to put up at least a couple of healthy, above average seasons than a lot of guys who have already signed this year, and if having him means overpaying him a bit, I’m cool with that.

OK, I’ll admit it: this is not really hardcore analysis. In fact, it’s defensive and emotional analysis, not unlike that which guys engage in when trying to rationalize the erratic behavior of their crazy girlfriends. But the Braves are my crazy girlfriend, dammit, and I love her.

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  1. themarksmith said...

    This is a classic “now” move. It makes the Braves look better for next year. We just have to pray he keeps pitching as well as he has for the remaining three seasons. Hopefully, in the next year or two, Jurrjens and Hanson can prove themselves to be aces, and Lowe can slide to the three spot in the rotation. For now, I like the move to get him, and I’d rather have him for four years than AJ for five.

  2. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    Smells like justification to me. 

    With one more year, the AAV dollars are about what Burnett got.

    Burnett: $16.4m AAV
    Lowe: $16.0m AAV

  3. Doug said...

    Derek Lowe has never been on the DL in his career.  That is insane.  I think he will be healthy for the next 4 years, but I don’t know how effective he will be.

  4. pete said...

    Maybe it’s not the wisest move, but it sure does make me happy to see a player actually end up with MORE money than the conventional wisdom says he’ll get. I’m also glad that Boras has racked up another victory.

    I know that the economy is in terrible shape, but excuse me if I just can’t help but think that something smells here with all these players taking incredibly small deals.

  5. Aaron Moreno said...

    Frank Wren seems to have been on his heels since the Tex trade, and 15 million a year just to beat out the Mets doesn’t seem to change that.

  6. whydidnt said...

    Well, on the face of it, it doesn’t look like a horrible deal.  However, we see this all the time in baseball—teams pay more than the market it demanding to sign a player.  By all accounts the Mets were offering 3 years, 12 million a year, and not budging. Other suitors were few and far between, so what do the Braves do? Offer an extra year AND 3 million more per year, or a full 60% more in total value!!

    Who were they competing with at that price? Where would Lowe have signed if they drew a line at $13 million over 3 years, with an option?  It’s a better offer than anything else out there.  Yet time a time again we see owners seemingly competing with themselves and paying more than market price for players.  Raul Ibanez to the Phillies is another example, and I’d even say last year’s Yankees re-signing of ARod fits this category.  No one else was going to pay him anywhere near what the Yankees offered.

  7. John Henning said...

    According to fangraphs, Lowe was worth $15.8 million last year so that’s right in line with what he’s being paid. Of course that assumes that he’ll maintain his level of production during the final years of his thirties. Possible, but unlikely. The thing that the Braves ought to do is temper expectations. Lowe was less valuable than both Jair Jurrjens and Javier Vazquez last year, and barring a huge step back for Jurrjens, he should be seen as the Braves third starter, but will likely be pushed as their ace. He might not quite fulfill everything that role demands.

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