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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, October 31, 2011

Indians - Acquired Lowe

Cleveland Indians - Acquired P Derek Lowe from the Atlanta Braves for P Chris Jones

It’s not exactly news that Lowe was surplus to requirements in
Atlanta. His health record has been exceptional – rarely missing a
turn since becoming a starter a decade ago.

The problem is that he’s 3 years removed from being an impact player.
His upside is probably league average and I’d be more than a little
surprised if he’s that good. 39 year old pitchers in a decline phase
are not what you’d call good bets. In my opinion he’s overpaid at $2
million and since the Braves are reportedly sending $10 million and
he’s due to make $5 million.

Not that I mind the over-pay in itself. I can readily imagine a team
that needs 32 or so mediocre starts. The thing is that the Indians are
awash in pretty reasonable options to fill out their rotation. Very
much like the situation he is leaving there are plenty of young
pitchers who rate to be every bit as good as Lowe even without
improving—and have a real shot at being better.

They also give up a semi-interesting suspect in Jones. Jones took a
major step forward in 2010. He more or less held it in 2011. He has
zero chance of being anything more than end of the roster filler
without several more steps, but two years ago I wouldn’t have given
him anything more than a “you never know with a young pitcher.”

2012 ZiPS Projection - Derek Lowe
————————————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————-
10 12 28 28 153.2 176   85 16 57 97 4.98   84
————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Rick Sutcliff, Tim Belcher, Jack Morris

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

ERA
Top 1/3 5%   
Mid 1/3 31%   
Bot 1/3 64%   

ERA+        BB
>150   0%

<1.5 0%
>

140   0%

<2.0 1%
>

130   1%

<2.5 11%
>

120   2%

<3.0 35%
>

110   5%

<3.5 67%
>

100   13%

<4.0 85%
>

90   36%
>80   64%    HR
>70   89%    <0.7 31%
<1.0 66%
K/9 <1.3 86%
>9     0%    <1.6 94%
>8     2%
>7     9%
>6     33%

(Based on Projected IP)

Ron Johnson Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:49 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Ron J Posted: October 31, 2011 at 07:43 PM (#3983635)
Edit: That should be he's scheduled to make $15 million. (We're trying to figure out why I can't edit the actual article)
   2. bigboy1234 Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3983651)
I'd have to bet on Lowe doing better than that projection. Lowe has a 3.6 xFIP and 3.8 FIP in 380 IP the past two seasons, not that bad.
   3. Tripon Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3983658)
Jack Morris lives!
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3983682)
So is it Ubaldo/Carmona/Masterson/Lowe/Tomlin? Where does that leave Jeanmar Gomez? And is Carlos Carrasco out for the year? What about Nick Hagadone? Seems like an odd trade in the respect that the Indians don't see to have a need for "just another guy" as their depth seems to be pretty decent, but they're all "just a guy."
   5. Ron J Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3983684)
#3 Can't speak for ZiPS (and I hadn't seen the projection when wrote the comment), but

a) 39 year olds as a group pitch a little less frequently than they did at 38 (and that's if they actually stick around. A good chunk of pitchers active at 38 are gone at 39)
b) 39 year olds as a group pitch a little worse than they did at 38
c) Lowe is moving to a DH league
d) he's moving to a stronger league
e) he's a groundball pitcher moving to a team with a less than wonderful defensive infield

All things considered, my quick and dirty estimate was 30 starts with an 86 era+. ZiPS is just a tad more pessimistic than that -- and probably has good reasons for it.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:49 PM (#3983701)
I mentioned this in the mainland thread, but since Jones is eligible for the R5, I'm surprised that he was named outright rather than hidden under the PTBNL rock until the R5 is over. Maybe the Braves plan to roster him this offseason?
   7. zempf Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3983704)
Carrasco is having (or probably already had by this time) TJ surgery, so he's done for the year.
   8. Austin Posted: October 31, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3983726)
If you had posted under Dan's name, I would have been hard pressed to tell the difference. You two have very similar writing styles.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 09:21 PM (#3983727)
Wait, this isn't Dan? Who is this imposter? Billy?
   10. I Am Not a Number Posted: October 31, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3983746)
Welcome aboard Ron. Thanks for filling in.
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 01, 2011 at 02:21 AM (#3983932)
If you had posted under Dan's name, I would have been hard pressed to tell the difference. You two have very similar writing styles.

High praise...or blood libel?
   12. Dale H. Posted: November 02, 2011 at 02:32 AM (#3984718)
   13. Don Malcolm Posted: November 02, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3984929)
Disagree...Ron has his own distinctive style. Sentence structures and lengths are noticeably different. He likes to use list formats; Dan doesn't.

Just don't go to work for ESPN, Ron!!
   14. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 02, 2011 at 11:38 PM (#3985353)
Here's why I would be terrified of Derek Lowe (or, up until last week, why I was terrified of Lowe.)

In the second half, he couldn't get anyone out. At all. You show me a 32 year old with a bad second half I'll give you the benefit of "regress to mean" doubt. Derek Lowe is 39, he's gone from top-of-the-rotation good to mediocre to "will make his starts" to "can't get anyone out" over the last four years. If I'm an Indians fan, I'm afraid of this move.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3986696)
Worth noting that Lowe didn't break after going 123-109-91-91 in IP in relief beginning at age 25. Though the first year included 10 starts.

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