Archive for December, 2009

91: I’m Feeling Lowe – Send Me An Angel

by Voice of Reason Raisins

JEFFERSON, GA – It’ll be a slow news morning since most of the talking heads were up way late into the early morning staying on top of the Doc Halladay / Cliff Lee 3-team blockbuster.

This much is for sure. The Derek Lowe chatter picked up dramatically last night. Most think he’ll be the next domino to fall. Most think to the LA Angels. I am 99% in that camp as well. I really do wonder, though, what will the final value be?

Many see Lowe’s 2009 season as a sign of decline. I don’t; but regardless, it’ll be used in negotiations. It’ll cost the Braves in their return.

My humble and amateur analysis deems Derek Lowe in 2009 as an anomaly. Look… the guy throws with a motion that does not tax him physically, except for the occasional blister. He’s not wearing down. He is a horse, and one of value. I believe the reports of his spotting a mechanical flaw. If I were a betting man, who I am not, I’d bet that Derek Lowe in 2010 will look closer to Derek Lowe in 2008 than Derek Lowe in 2009. And my feelings would not be hurt to see him toe the rubber in The Ted for another 3 years. But we don’t need him. He has become a surplus part. And as surplus, he’s very expensive.

But back to 2009, the guy won 15 games on a team that was obviously NOT in the top teams offensively. He must have been doing something right, huh?

So, is he worth $45MM over the next 3 years? Not to Atlanta, where they’ll still have the best top to bottom rotation in the NL, regardless of losing Lowe and regardless of Philly picking up Doc Halladay.

But what about in Los Angeles, in Halo-land? They just lost their ace John Lackey. And they lost their superman Chone Figgins… to division rival Seattle. And did you notice the Mariners just acquired Cliff Lee to go with Felix Hernandez? The Angels just got a nice kick in the teeth. Yep… just as news was breaking that The Angels were losing their ace, the news was breaking that the Mariners were adding Lee. Ouch…

All that said, as much as I’d love to see a Derek Lowe / Juan Rivera straight up swap, that won’t happen. The Braves will have to eat some of the remaining $45MM on the contract, or will have to give up a top prospect to offset it. I don’t see them giving up any top prospects, and I don’t see them paying as much as $12MM, as has been suggested. I do, though, see them paying maybe as much as $9MM, OR adding a guy like Jordan Schafer to the deal. Once you start adding pieces, though, it begins to get a little crazy.

What I mean is, the Braves wouldn’t swap Lowe + Schafer straight up for Rivera. Not equitable. So then you have to add something on the Angels end. Then you could end up with multiple players / prospects changing locale. Loopy.

In the end, it’d be nice if Frank could make it a straight up Lowe / Rivera swap, and keep all of his own pieces, including Schafer, and add a little cash on the side. Heck, it could probably happen today if Frank had Yankee money. But he doesn’t. So they’ll take some time and haggle dollars – big dollars. That could take time. But time will only increase the sense of urgency for LAA. And that need is the one thing that might make Lowe’s real trade value increase.

And while time is more on Frank’s side, he doesn’t have all winter, either. He still has to add a few more arrows to Bobby’s quiver, so he can’t exactly play a total waiting game.

Nope, this intrepid reporter – OK, this amateur Braves lovin’ spectator – thinks a deal will happen sooner than later… maybe even before Gil can get this posted. Who knows?

I do know this: the Braves and Angels now have an overlapping common goal. That should be a good place to start.


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