Yankees sign Derek Lowe

Saturday Night Open Thread
David Phelps to start on Monday, Igarashi recalled
Beard’s gotta go, just ask the other Derek. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia is headed to the DL with elbow stiffness, and the Yankees have replaced him with another innings eater. Marc Carig reports that the Bombers have signed Derek Lowe while Joel Sherman adds that he has agreed to pitch out of the bullpen as a long reliever. He’s expected to join the team on Monday. David Phelps will start in Sabathia’s place on Monday, and Ryota Igarashi will come up to fill the vacant roster spot for tomorrow. The Yankees have an open 40-man roster spot, so no additional move is required.

Lowe, 39, was released by the Indians earlier this week, meaning the Yankees will only be on the hook for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum. The veteran right-hander pitched to a 5.52 ERA (4.47 FIP) in 21 starts and 119 innings for Cleveland this year, though he walked more batters (45) than he struck out (41). He also got hammered in his last dozen starts, pitching to an 8.80 ERA. That’s why he was released. Lowe still generates a ton of ground balls (60.0%) with his upper-80s sinker, though left-handers have just crushed him this year (.412 wOBA).

Although he hasn’t pitched out of the bullpen since 2007, Lowe spent a number of years closing for the Red Sox earlier in his career. He’s familiar with a relief role, so it shouldn’t be a huge adjustment. The Yankees also don’t have to worry too much about him and the whole New York/big market/pennant race pressure thing after all his time in Boston, plus they know first hand that he can handle a playoff-type atmosphere. I don’t put much stock in that stuff, but at least there are no concerns here.

I kinda had a feeling this was coming after we learned about Sabathia’s injury only because it was an easy move to make. Lowe was a free agent with a fixed price (practically free), and a guy who could soak up some innings without issue — he’s thrown at least 180 innings every year since 2001. Adam Warren figures to remain in Triple-A for the time being, but he was the other alternative for Monday’s start and Sabathia’s roster spot. Lowe’s signing is a depth move, another example of an older and accomplished player accepting a reduced role with the Yankees.

Saturday Night Open Thread
David Phelps to start on Monday, Igarashi recalled
  • DERP

    Should bring some great veteran presents to the clubhouse.

    • JonS

      Like beer and chicken?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      Veteran presents? Hm…

      • tyrone sharpton

        i seen mike made that mistakes to. get over it, we all get what he’s saying

        • Mike2

          “I seen mike made that mistakes to?” Good Lord man, did you even get past 2nd grade? Learn to spell and take a class in grammar… Oh and in case you can’t figure out what I’m talking about your sentence should read, “I saw that Mike made a mistake too.” You have to be a Red Sux fan, right?

          • Heisenberg’s Hat

            Calm down man.

          • Frank Spero

            that is “sux” like they suck just in case that is what your pristine grammer is referring to

        • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

          It’s called joking…

          I thought it was funny was all.


      • G

        Little RAB meme. Someone misspelled it one day and the joke became veteran players giving presents.

        Sorry if you knew, just seemed confused.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

          Oh okay. I haven’t been reading the comments recently. I thought it was funny anyway.

          • G

            Yeah a lot of people either started commenting since or weren’t commenting during the winter and missed it. I’ve been fairly quietly commenting since a bit before that so I’m in the exclusive club of people in the know 8) .

            But seriously. Lowe gives great veteran presents.

  • DERP

    But seriously, this guy sucks.

  • G

    And here I was hoping Phelps could finally just start… But of course they need him for the pen…

    Let’s just hope that if CC misses two starts we can win at least one of Lowe’s fill ins.

    • AC

      Phelps is starting Monday. Read the article. Lowe replaces Phelps as the long man. Low cost move. Worthy of a shot. Warren as u remember wasn’t the answer to bring up

      • G

        Know now. It was posted after I commented here. Very happy with this, and yes I agree Warren isn’t the answer. I said he was the wrong choice the first time. Not a fan.

  • Brian S.


    • The Real Greg

      Hey. He’s free.

  • Countryclub

    Phelps is starting.

  • Cody Ransom

    So he’s the next Mitre/Gaudin….great

    • roy in GA

      No, he is the guy to bring in when PHIL HUGHES is tiring and you someone with a nasty sinker who can induce a ground ball. DEREK LOWE had an excellent first half this year and terrible second half.

      Some of this story should be about JOBA CHAMERLAIN maybe not being ready to pitch critical spots out of the bullpen.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

        Or maybe Derek Lowe regressed to a terrible pitcher because his strike out rate is lower than his walk rate. There’s plenty of logic in why people aren’t excited about him, even as a reliever

      • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

        does anyone believe joba will ever approach 2007 levels? i don’t and neither does girardi. do you really trust joba in a close game in october? (answer should ne no). trade bait, but i guess he fetches not much.

        • Heisenberg’s Hat

          Joba in 2007 was a fluke. The guy gave up one run over a seven week period. People act like that’s the REAL Joba Chamberlain, when the reality is that no one is that good.

  • The Real Greg

    From what I’m hearing, I bet Phelps will start and Lowe will be the longman

  • Hoss

    Who is getting squeezed from the 40 man roster?

  • Brian

    Why not just call up Warren?

    • viridiana

      You can’t call up a young potential asset like Warren when a crummy over the hill vet is available: B. Cashman

      • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

        Who cares? David Phelps is starting anyway. It would make little sense to just stick another potential “asset” in the bullpen.

    • AC

      Rewind the tape. Watch it and then ask the question again. Warren last start. Thank you

      • Heisenberg’s Hat

        He deserves another shot. That was only one start.

  • 28 this year

    This is fine. Save Warren for another time, use Lowe for mop up duty once and release him. No biggie, might as well have the extra depth until rosters expand, who knows what injury might happen next, might as well make sure there are enough bodies to withstand injuries.

  • JimmieFoxx

    So I guess I’m the only one who would prefer Lowe just take CC’s place in the rotation?

    • DM

      He’s got more walks than Ks this year — and he doesn’t have many Ks.

    • Rey22

      Pretty much, yeah.

    • Heisenberg’s Hat

      You’re INSANE.

  • Ichy balls

    Warren sucks
    But Ortiz 10-5 with a 3 pt era why not

    • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      Your name and lack of ability to describe stats really shows how brilliant you truly are.

      • Ichy balls

        Yup stats say it all
        Whip era how about just the important wins
        The most important stat.

        • Get Phelps Up

          I like how you’re saying wins are “the most important stat” here and then 2 posts down, you’re clamoring for Cliff Lee.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

          Statistics don’t say it all, but you can learn plenty from them. To site a “10-5” record and a “3 pt era” barely tells anyone how well he’s pitched. There’s ground ball rates (GB%), FIP, K/9, HR/FB%, etc.

          • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

            oh how i hate sabremetrics. and bill james and billy beane.

            • Heisenberg’s Hat

              So you hate facts and information, and prefer to rely on gut feelings and nonsense?

    • Joe R

      Probably because they would lose him after they try to get him back down.

    • Laz

      No way they bring up ortiz. He is awful, the only reason he is there is to eat innings in AAA. His era over the past 10 years is over 5.00. Even lowe is better than him at this stage.

  • Derek Lowe’s Mom

    I like the idea.

  • Ichy balls

    Cliff lee anyone?

    • Bunt Gardner

      If you’re going to troll, at least be an informed troll.

      • Ichy balls

        Cliff lee cashmans moby dick. Not a troll
        By the by Ortiz is having a nice year at the circus road show.

        • Bunt Gardner

          That would make it his first one in ten years.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

        Then he would be an upper tier troll. There’s been nothing to suggest that the average troll has any understanding for the sport of baseball.

        • Bunt Gardner

          We can always have hope…lol

  • viridiana

    Ortiz is terrible. Career ERA over 5.

  • Arya

    This is just big big trouble. I fear CC is gone for a while given this move. And Cashman did nothing at the break to improve. I’ve been calling for Cliff Lee ever since the deadline. Find a way to get it done.

    • Bunt Gardner

      You mean reinvent the regulations that govern MLB waiver trades?

      • Ichy balls

        Dodgers would block it too bad lee not AL

        • Bunt Gardner

          Dude, Lee was already placed on waivers, claimed by the Dodgers, and pulled off waivers by the Phillies. Lee cannot be traded this year. Try reading the sport section some time.

          • CUYanks

            Well “technically” they could place him on irrevocable waivers, and if he then passed through he could be traded.

            • Ichy balls

              Like the cut of your jib

            • Laz

              The Phillies already passed on giving him to the dodgers probably for low level prospects. Why would they give him to the yankees for free.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      To expand on what Bunt Gardner was saying, The Yankees are far down the waiver wire list. If any team, such as Dodgers pluck Cliff Lee from waivers, the Yankees will not have the ability to try and make a trade for him, since the Dodgers would be the only team with the rights to do so. Almost every team in baseball would have to pass on Cliff Lee before the Yankees got a chance to do so.

      And there are plenty of reasons not to get Cliff Lee. The price would probably be at least one premium prospect and several other guys, and the Phillies have refused to eat any money on the four years left on Lee’s contract. It would also make it more difficult for the Yankees to re-sign Cano, Granderson, Swisher…or anyone else because of the austerity cap for 2014.

  • Gonzo

    But that means the team has to pay for another WS ring. Not free!

  • CUYanks

    Brent Lillibridge is hitting home runs off of the Red Sox.

  • Bob Buttons the Cat

    Another member of “should have done this back in 2005” club, along with Ichiro, Andruw et al.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      That’s the year Cano and Wang started making a name for themselves…

      Then there was Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon…

      Melky made his debut…

      Good times

      • Bob Buttons the Cat

        Randy Johnson’s good year with us (while ridding us of Vazquez for the first time)

        Sheff and Matsui flanked Bernie in the outfield. At times painful but fun to watch.

        Rivera, Jeter and Posada still playing pretty well..

        Last year that MVP baseball came out.

        Good times.

  • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    I hope Phelps get a chance to start over Lowe. He’s been garbage for The Indians.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      Sounds like that will be the case.

  • Nice Scheister

    I miss AJ Burnett. I really do.

    • Laz

      I hated AJ. I’m glad he is gone just because. I really don’t even care if he is pitching good for the pirates.

    • Heisenberg’s Hat

      You’re actually missing the pitcher that he’s been for other teams, not the pitcher he was with the Yanks.

    • AC

      Nobody misses AJ. We all knew bring moved to the weak NL East he would have a bounce back year with Pitt. No pressure environment for him

      • Evan3457

        Or a weak NL Central. Or one of the weak NL divisions. Whatever.

  • Ichy balls

    Is phelps even stretched out to go more than 3 innings?

    • Laz

      They probably will try to see how deep phelps can go and then Lowe will finish it up.

  • Kevin Maas

    RAB – the only place on Earth where 41 is more than 45.

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    The only way this is interesting is if the Yankees & Reds make the WS, somehow Lowe makes the WS roster and then charges the dugout from the bullpen & bitchslaps Dusty.

    …well, I guess not the “only” way. But this is the only thing that popped in my mind. Hopefully he can provide some BP depth to come in and get an important double play here and there.

    • Laz

      He has been pretty good vs Righties. So as long as he isn’t facing lefties, Joe will probably turn him into another specialist.

  • Nathan

    Meh, at least they aren’t paying him much and he won’t be counted on for much more than mop-up duty or low leverage spots.

    Could have been worse…they could have signed him when he was a FA.

    • Tyler

      Reasons why I can’t hate the AJ Burnett deal – it spared us from Derek Lowe for a little while.

  • Andruw’s Smile

    Lowe= Qualls to me, except he can provide more innings to eat up. Don’t see any negative here, they probably don’t want to expose Warren to another beating right now. Lowe can take it, and hey, maybe he gains a couple MPH on his sinker in the pen and becomes a ground ball machine again.

  • The DonSlaught

    This signing gave me an instant case of The Lulz

  • Tom

    I like the signing, I think Lowe will surprise some folks.

    Depending on the severity of the injury you are talking about needing to get 12-18 serviceable innings out of the guy. Whether it’s long relief or starting after the next start, he’s here to eat innings not provide quality starts. 2 to 3 starts of 6IP, 4ER or 5IP, 3ER would be fine if he becomes the fill-in starter…. simply eating innings in the pen would also be fine if Phelps stays as the starter.

    I’m wondering if CC and Andy get back toward the end of August/Sept and rosters expanding, if Girardi will go back to a 6 man rotation again in Sept.

  • Rainbow Pinstripes

    Once again… he’s the 25th man on the roster. He will not be used much, and will not appear in any game pass the sixth inning unless it’s a blowout. And he’s better than Qualls, IMO.

  • http://yankeemedicrecords.com LemdaGem

    Derek Lowe is one of those August add-ons that if used in situations where he can succeed with good defense and a decent offense behind will eat up innings as necessary. Larry Rothschild will have his hands full getting Lowe to make the needed adjustments for the AL East division race and key match ups with post season contenders.
    My verdict is dependent on the stretch run to late September. All bets are off.

  • FreeAgentSignee

    Welcome Derek!