Yanks, Sox battling it out over free agent pitcher

Open Thread: Making A Splash
Raines named manager of Newark Bears

I expected the Yanks and Red Sox to battle it out monetarily over a few free agent pitchers this off-season, but Derek Lowe? Really? I realize Lowe is a workhorse coming off a season with a 3.24 ERA. But his home-road splits are fairly dramatic, and this guy was jettisoned by Boston a few years ago because they didn’t like his focus or mentality. He’s going to be 36 in April, and he’s not getting any younger. What’s all the fuss about anyway?

Open Thread: Making A Splash
Raines named manager of Newark Bears
  • this is le david

    He is more “focused”………..

    and “clutch”

    hopefully there is no fuss and we are just driving his price upp uppp and awayyyy. It would be the best gift for the holidays if the sox gave him 5 years at 16-18 mill…

    • Steve

      You forgot “Gutty” and “Gritty”

      Maybe we should combine all of these for someone like Mo and call him “Clutty-gritterish”

  • This is the David

    He is more “focused”
    Oh, and lets not forget “clutch”

    Hopefully there is no fuss…..

    And the red sox pay him alot of money over the next half a decade

  • Adrian-Retire21

    Lowe unlike Hughes,Joba,Burnett,Pettitte can actually pitch 200 innings next year and has done it more then one time the last 5 years.

    If we can get CC we don’t need another ace.WE need a work horse.Not a idiot who can’t run past third base without busting he’s @$$ or pulling he’s hamstring(Wang) and a bunch a young guys who haven’t proven to be in the rotation.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Um. Wow.

    • http://www.mvn.com/pendingpinstripes Ashish Skaria

      I am at a loss for words.

    • FL Yank

      You are so wrong that it’s crossed over from being perplexing to being disheartening to being hilarious.

    • BigBlueAL

      So this guy would rather have Lowe than Wang??????? WTF……

    • Manimal

      It wasn’t his hamstring.

    • greg

      Are you unfamiliar with the word his?

      • Old Ranger

        He ain’t got no learning, nohow!

  • RollingWave

    Lowe for more than 2 year is bad, if they could get him on a 2+1 option type of deal though, I’m listening, but it’s not exactly a do or die thing.

    plus, Bora$ is asking for Zito money (really!) on Lowe.

    I guess you could spin the logic that hey Zito SUCKS and gets 17m per, so why shouldn’t Lowe.. who doesn’t suck, get similar amounts!!!!! OMG SO THE BAR FOR NON-SUCKING SP IS NOW 17M per year!!!!!

  • kenthadley

    ok, let’s just say we dont get CC (west coast, NL, whatever), and we rightfully decide AJ wants too many years, and Lowe wants too much……what do we do at that point? Sheets? Perez? I think the kids can fill #5, and we have Wang/Pettitte/Joba……just want to hear your ideas given that we end-out on the “big three” (and I automatically assume it would mean we get Tex, also)…..

    • Alan

      Not get CC?!?! BLASPHEMY!

    • Old Ranger

      CMW, Andy, Joba, Phil, Giese/Aceves hell, why not…could that be worse then last year? We went with Andy, (part time) Joba, Moose, Pounds, IPK, Phil, Rasner, Pavano and still won a few games.
      That rotation is not real good, but it’s better then what we had last year.
      We still need one good starter, no matter how you cut it…CC might fit the bill! There are options out there to be had, I think; CMW, FA, Joba, Andy, Phil and Giese (inning limits) COULD do it. CC, AJ or someone as good, is a must for this team to even make the play-offs let alone WS. 27/09.

  • Steve

    Got into this debate on another site, but just wanted to share what I dug up about Pavano. Check out his innings total at a young age


    18-44 IP
    19-141 IP
    20-185 IP
    21-161 IP
    22-168 IP
    23-109 IP
    24-97 IP
    25-82 IP
    26-156 IP
    27-201 IP
    28-222 IP
    29-111 IP
    30-28 IP
    31-11 IP
    32-55 IP

    He’s a great example of why the Yanks are being so careful with Joba. He jumped 100 innings at age 20 and another 40 at age 21. He didn’t break his age 20 innings total again for 5 years, and only managed to stay healthy for one year after that.

  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    I believe in “clutchness” and all that I really do. But Derek Lowe is not very good. He got slapped around by the Phillies and I still think the Phillies were not as good as maybe 3 or 4 teams in the AL last year.

    NL West is like tee ball, nobody in that division was as good as the Blue Jays before Manny went over there and even after that I am not sure they were beter than the Blue Jays (the 4th best team in our division)


  • http://www.generationthird.com -ck

    @ Adrian — Yo Adrian!

    First of all, it was a list franc injury, not a hamstring. Secondly, what’s up with dissing Wang? He’s gone two back to back 19 win seasons and was 8-2 at the time of his injury. He would have earned us probably 8-10 more wins.

    Moving on…

    I’d like to see the Yankees in the mix, so to speak. But not to sign him. Raise the price of Lowe by offering some kind of contract that will get the Red Sox riled up and then they will raise their own price and eventually Lowe will sign with them.


  • The Scout

    You certainly don’t judge a pitcher by one or two post-season starts. Lowe is about eating innings, year-after-year. He eases the pressure caused by the innings caps on Joba and the others; he gives the team a chance to let the young pitchers develop without being rushed; he’s about the best insurance you could have that Kei Igawa won’t be asked to start for the Yankees, ever. In an ideal world, he fills in for a couple of years in the middle of the rotation or, better still, at the back end. Unlike Sheets or Burnett, his track record suggests reliability, not sporadic brilliance and frequent drips to the DL. Look to others to be the stoppers, but recognize the value in steadiness.

  • ortforshort

    Derek is Lowe priority in my book. I’d pursue quality first, innings eaters second. Lowe was always up and down in the American League and you have to take his National League numbers with a big grain of salt, particularly in pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium. The two guys I’d go after first are the ones with ace stuff – Sabathia (who also eats innings) and Burnett. If things don’t work out, maybe Lowe for the bottom of the rotation as a desperation move.

  • Kay Sturns

    so with you ben, I hope we lose this ‘bidding war’ injury risks aside, because any pitcher can get hurt at any time, I’d rater have Burnett (after CC of course) for 4-5 yrs honestly

    • Conan the Barack O’Brian

      Speaking of ‘bidding war,’ in the Sox case it could well be just that–as in, bidding (but no buying) war. After letting Lowe go three years ago, how in the world can the Sox justify any of Boras’ demands about him deserving a Zito-like contract, five years, etc.? They have enough pitching options. I think they are eagerly trying to make it impossible for the Yanks to get a decent combo of free agents, whether that’s CC/Tex, Lowe/Burnett/Tex, what have you. They would love to see CC pass and watch us risk five-year deals on Burnett AND Lowe.

      If they were to engage in this kind of bidding, I suppose they would be laughing hysterically the whole time.

  • bill

    I have my doubts of how much the Yankees are going to spend under Hank and Hal.

    So far Hank has talk a good game but he has not follow through with all his talk.

    I’m just afraid they know if they offer CC 140 Millllion they know he wont take that figure but it makes them look like they are trying to get him.

    My gut feeling is the two big free agent signings are going to be Ben Sheets and Brad Penny.

    I hope Im wrong and the Yankees prove to me that they are willing to spend the money on the high profile free agents.

    • Reggie C.

      The Yankees likely have a 40 Million dollar lead on the next highest offer right now. Lets see what the West Coast teams are going to bid. I’d be shocked if any of those rival offers came with more years or higher AAS than the Yankee bid. We might have to bump in another couple mil to maintain a 20 Million dollar lead, but right now , we are prepared to make CC the highest paid pitcher in baseball. No other team is going to do that.

    • steve (different one)

      the yankees “only” offered CC $140M b/c they knew he wouldn’t take it?

      what a load of shit.

      • steve (different one)

        the Yankee make the highest offer in HISTORY to a pitcher, but Bill thinks the yankees aren’t “are willing to spend the money on the high profile free agents.”

        i guess the first offer should have been $180M/6?

        what WOULD convince you?

        i hope in your next life you are reincarnated as a Pirates fan.

  • ortforshort

    The Angels and Dodgers just don’t need starting pitching as much as the Yankees do and it would be hard for them to justify spending a bundle on something that’s not a pressing need. But who knows? I see the Angels focusing on Teixeira and the Dodgers on Ramirez, not Sabathia.

  • Tim Q. Mills

    If we sign CC then just give Ben Sheets 2 years/$32 million with an option year and have Phil Hughes ready to fill in if (or when) he hits the DL.

    Ben Sheets = less years, less money, higher reward – but admittedly a higher risk.

  • Old Ranger

    At this juncture I think none of have the faintest idea what the hell we are writing about.
    I, for one have tried to come up with all sorts of crazy pitching rotations but…without CC or someone of his ability we are going to be in deeeeeep shit. I still think Cash has something he is working on that will surprise everyone…my biggest concern is, will it be good enough! Let’s hope so, I don’t want to have 9 pitchers and go through 2008 again. 27/09.

  • yanks163

    It is absurd how much attention Burnett and Lowe are getting and how little attention Ben Sheets is getting. The perception that Sheets is “talented but extremely injury prone” is unfounded. Since ’01, Sheets has pitched 175 more innings than Burnett. His trip to the DL late in the season was for what has been described as nothing more than the equivalent of a hamstring pull in his elbow. If he had pitched through this season everyone would be talking about him as the stud ace who started the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium and his huge stats would support that claim. 3.09 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 3.36 K/BB is much more impressive than Burnett or Lowe have ever put up in their entire careers. Burnett is among the league leaders in walks every year. Sure, he has “electric stuff” but he will be 32, and toward the middle of a 6 year deal his 96 mph fastball will be about 92 and with his erratic control his already pedestrian stats will get pretty ugly. Lowe will be 36 and his last couple years in Boston were dismal before he went to the god awful NL West and feasted on mediocre hitting for a few years. Sheets’ value had depreciated enormously and the Yankees would be much better off giving him about 3 years/$40 million than give either of these guys 5 or 6 year deals.

    • Currambayankees

      I couldn’t agree more with you, if the Yankees want to sign someone with an injury history then I hope they sign Sheets to incentive laiden contract that will probably be for a shorter period of time and less money than Burnette.

      I also don’t want Lowe a 36yr old, who doesn’t want to be Yankee on the team. Let him go sign with the Blosox let them offer him a 4-5yr deal.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Can you seriously just stop it with this “doesn’t want to be on the Yankees” crap? How do you know? Did Derek Lowe or Scott Boras call you up and tell you? They’ve never once said that Lowe doesn’t want to be on the Yanks. That’s just a misguided and made-up line of reasoning.

  • canadian tuxedo

    Yanks163 I really think you hit the nail on the head with that one. I cant understand why everyone is all after burnett and not sheets. I dont understand what the difference between the two is. They both have injury problems and great stuff but Sheets is younger to boot. I honestly hope the yanks at least do their due dilligence and check into sheets.

    • steve (different one)

      the difference is that Sheets is hurt.

      i understand all of the risks/reward. i understand the whole situation.

      but that is the difference.

      Burnett is healthy. Sheets is not.

      nothing you guys can say about Burnett’s injury history can change this simple FACT.

      • yanks163

        “Agent Casey Close said that Sheets’ latest problem — a flexor muscle tear — is expected to fully heal in the offseason. Sheets probably could have pitched in October if the Brewers had shut him down for two or three starts in August. But with the team scrambling for a postseason berth, Sheets didn’t have the luxury of another visit to the disabled list. He threw complete-game, five-hit shutouts against Washington and San Diego in a span of six starts in August and September before the pain became too much to bear.

        “I guess the best way to describe it is, it’s like a hamstring pull in your elbow,” Close said. “There’s no structural damage, and [the doctors] don’t look for any long-term negative impact to the elbow. But the bottom line is, you have to give it the necessary rest and time to heal.””

        • Rich

          Oh, his agent said it. It must be true because no agent would ever say anything to make his client look better than he is.

          • steve (different one)

            what he said.

  • Currambayankees

    Not sure what the fuss is all about but I don’t want Lowe in Pinstripes let him go back to the Blosox.

  • B.George

    People are saying that Lowe got smaked around in the post season so we shouldnt sign him….atleast he pitched in the post season and has some quality starts unlike Burnett. We will get more value for the money we are investing then we would with Burnett. With Lowe you know what you are getting 200 innings 4 era. With Burnett you have no idea what you are getting and could totally turn up into flames. And when we have one and maybe two starters on innings limits we need pitchers who can eat alot of innings and thats what Lowe can do. Is he wort 16 to 18 mill a year? No. But if we can get the price down I say do it. Burnett will cost more years and more money then Lowe and is totally not worth it.

    • steve (different one)

      right now, there really isn’t much difference in their price.

      both will get about $15M per year, Lowe may get 4 years and Burnett may get 5.

      not that big of a difference.

      the question is, would you rather buy that 5th year on Burnett when he is 36, or would you rather buy that 4th year on Lowe when he is 40?

      it’s not an easy question.