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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rosenthal: Lowe equals Zito?

Those who snickered when Scott Boras intimated that he wanted a six-year deal for Manny Ramirez might guffaw at this one.

Boras, according to executives with two different teams interested in Derek Lowe, is telling clubs he wants “a Zito-type contract” for the free-agent right-hander.

That’s Zito, as in Barry Zito, as in seven years, $126 million.

Zito signed the deal before the season in which he turned 29. Lowe, who has averaged 208 innings and a 3.79 ERA the past seven seasons, turns 36 on June 1.

Boras could not be reached Tuesday night, but he has called Lowe “the safest bet” of any free-agent pitcher.

Lowe earned 42 saves as a closer in 2000. He has a career 3.33 ERA in the postseason. Perhaps most impressive of all, he has never been on the disabled list.


Man, I bet Boras can get Andruw Jones a two contract with his skills… oh wait. DAMMIT.

Tripon Posted: November 19, 2008 at 08:16 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. flournoy Posted: November 19, 2008 at 01:03 PM (#3012162)
This comparison seems like a bit of a blunder for Boras. Why bring up a contract that has been disastrous for the team? It only serves to remind teams how badly this could end up for them.
   2. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 19, 2008 at 01:09 PM (#3012163)
Boras has balls as big as the Hindenberg. He really, really does. I think Billy Beane stayed with Oakland instead of taking the Boston job so he'd never have to negotiate a mega-contract with guys like Boras. That would just suck a lot of the joy out of the job. I don't mean this as a knock on Boras--the dude does what he's paid to do--but dealing with Boras must be like when I have to talk to an auditor from the NYSE or the SEC, or even worse, an internal auditor from the parent company. Just pure torture.
   3. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 19, 2008 at 02:08 PM (#3012204)
Boras seems to have overplayed his hand here, to put it mildly. It's a fine line between "starting point for contract discussions" and "failing the laugh test." This statement falls into the latter category.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 19, 2008 at 02:14 PM (#3012208)
Boras seems to have overplayed his hand here, to put it mildly. It's a fine line between "starting point for contract discussions" and "failing the laugh test." This statement falls into the latter category.

Concur.

I would think the absolute last thing you want to bring up when negotiating a contract for an SP is Zito's contract. Why doesn't he bring up Denny Neagle, and Mike Hampton as some other comparables?
   5. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 19, 2008 at 02:17 PM (#3012215)
I would think the absolute last thing you want to bring up when negotiating a contract for an SP is Zito's contract. Why doesn't he bring up Denny Neagle, and Mike Hampton as some other comparables?

I think his logic is that Lowe should get a better contract than a pitcher who sucks. I doubt anyone is listening. I believe he makes these public statements more for the benefit of his clients than anyone else. Look at me Derek, I am totally going to the wall for ya! You can be smart and be a ballplayer, but you don't have to be.
   6. Flynn Posted: November 19, 2008 at 02:22 PM (#3012220)
I don't mean this as a knock on Boras--the dude does what he's paid to do--but dealing with Boras must be like when I have to talk to an auditor from the NYSE or the SEC, or even worse, an internal auditor from the parent company. Just pure torture.

I don't know what your job is, but I can't imagine this is like being audited. This would be like the auditor yelling in your face "DID YOU SPEND THIS 2,678 DOLLARS ON NAZI CHILD PORN? DID YOU?!?! DID YOU?!?!?!" (answer being no, I am not Steve Garvey), because just like that is too absurd to be taken seriously, so is Lowe getting 7/126.
   7. RJ in TO Posted: November 19, 2008 at 02:25 PM (#3012224)
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm seriously tempted to hire Boras to negotiate my next raise.
   8. Danny Posted: November 19, 2008 at 02:34 PM (#3012228)
Lowe has been really, really good over the past 3 years. Of the 56 pitchers who have thrown 500+ innings from 2006-2008, Lowe has the 10th best ERA+.

Cnt Player            ERA+   IP   From  To
+----+-----------------+----+------+----+----+
    
1 Johan Santana      150  687   2006 2008 
    2 Brandon Webb       149  698   2006 2008 
    3 C
.CSabathia      149  686.2 2006 2008 
    4 Roy Halladay       138  691.1 2006 2008 
    5 Roy Oswalt         135  641.1 2006 2008 
    6 Cole Hamels        133  543   2006 2008 
    7 John Lackey        132  605   2006 2008 
    8 Scott Kazmir       132  503.2 2006 2008 
    9 Jake Peavy         127  599.1 2006 2008 
   10 Derek Lowe         126  628.1 2006 2008 


He's also thrown the 10th most innings in MLB over that span. The only concern would seem to be his age.
   9. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 19, 2008 at 02:36 PM (#3012233)
He's also thrown the 10th most innings in MLB over that span. The only concern would seem to be his age.

I think the fact that he blew chunks the last time he was in the AL would also be of concern, to AL teams at least.
   10. billyshears Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:02 PM (#3012258)
Boras seems to have overplayed his hand here, to put it mildly. It's a fine line between "starting point for contract discussions" and "failing the laugh test." This statement falls into the latter category.


Boras's goal is just to change the terms of the conversation. The minute anybody starts talking about Lowe in comparison to Zito, Boras wins. Sure, some people will laugh and blow it off, but others will do what Danny has done and point out that Lowe has actually been really good for the last few years.
   11. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#3012268)
In retrospect, DePodesta knew what he was doing when signing Lowe.
Go back four years ago, and re-read the columns calling DePo and idiot.
   12. CrosbyBird Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#3012273)
Lowe is actually my favorite of the available FA pitchers after Santana, but seven years is outrageous. Unless there's a huge uptick in the market, he's probably going to end up somewhere around the $90M/5 range.

There's a ton of solid FA pitching available and it probably will keep the price down somewhat.
   13. Raskolnikov Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#3012275)
Sam thinks that Omar can get Lowe + Fuentes for Sabathia money. Fat chance ...
   14. RJ in TO Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3012276)
Unless there's a huge uptick in the market, he's probably going to end up somewhere around the $90M/5 range.


Doesn't $90M/5 for a 36 year old pitcher represent a huge uptick in the market?
   15. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#3012279)
Doesn't $90M/5 for a 36 year old pitcher represent a huge uptick in the market?

God yes. That's a wow contract. But Dempster just got 4/52 so who knows. Boras has gotta believe he can do better than Ryan Dempster for Lowe.
   16. zack Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:43 PM (#3012291)
"Hey Dad! There's a guy here who's selling Lowe for 7/$126!"

"Tell him he's dreeeeeamin'."
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 19, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#3012296)
The minute anybody starts talking about Lowe in comparison to Zito, Boras wins.

I disagree with that completely.

Every GM who thinks about Zito thinks "What a f-ing horrendous contract. Thank God I didn't sign him. I'm suprised it didn't cost Sabean his job."

Boras shouldn't want the GM thinking those thoughts when contemplating giving his 36-year old SP a multi-year, big money deal.
   18. CrosbyBird Posted: November 19, 2008 at 05:14 PM (#3012384)
Doesn't $90M/5 for a 36 year old pitcher represent a huge uptick in the market?

I'm not sure if it is so enormous. A lot of pitchers remain effective into their 40s these days.

Millwood got $60M/5 in the 2005-2006 offseason. Meche got $55/5M two years ago.

Neither of these pitchers are nearly as good as Lowe. Age matters, but Lowe also has a lot less wear and tear on his arm because of his years in relief, with less than 2000 IP. As a starter, he's been remarkably consistent, pitching 32 or more starts in each season from 2002-2008. I think Lowe is a better risk than, say, AJ Burnett or Oliver Perez.

I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that Lowe outperforms Carlos Zambrano over the next 4 years.
   19. Valentine Posted: November 19, 2008 at 05:23 PM (#3012394)
How much does age REALLY matter for pitchers? I'd be more interested in their velocity, strikeout rate, and injury history. Lowe has always been healthy, is throwing as hard as ever, and has the best K/BB in his career. Comparing Lowe, Burnett, Perez, Dempster, I'd view Lowe as the "youngest" of the bunch.

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