Monday, February 23, 2004
Derek Lowe is a durable extreme ground ball pitcher. At age 30, Lowe should be able to continue to throw 200 innings without much trouble. He has logged fewer innings than other starters, although some say pitching 100+ relief innings is worst than 200+ as a starter, and has never had any arm problems (knock on wood). With Pokey Reese's gold glove and better command, Lowe could be a Cy Young candidate in 2004. If so, Lowe would command Colon type money or $10+ million per season. He deserves the big money and is likely to go after it. It is Lowe's only opportunity to cash in and his agent is the hard liner and wildly successful, Scott Boras. A hometown discount is not going to happen nor should it. DLowe will have no difficulty inking a deal worth around $50 million over four years with Texas, L.A., Baltimore, and the Mets all with money to spend and a need at the top of the rotation.
The Sox should not sign DLowe now because it will limit their flexibility for middle infielders beyond 2004. Lowe is a $10 million pitcher with a better defensive infield, most notably at second base. Thus, the Sox would have to sign good glove men at short stop and second to get the proper return on their Lowe investment. With instability beyond 2004 in the middle of the infield, waiting on Lowe is the proper move. Plus, the Sox have cheaper internal rotation alternatives with Bronson Arroyo and possibly Scott Williamson for 2005. Both have the potential to be productive starters at a fraction of the cost. Theo should wait on DLowe and probably should not be brought back after 2004. Lowe is right; it is HIS "last run".