Let's get this out of the way: I don't give a hoot where Derek Lowe is from. All this "Michigan native returning home" stuff drives me batty. Franly I'd rather have a Venezuela native, those seem to be working out pretty well for the Tigers. Anyway, now that I've got that off my chest ...
Multiple media outlets report the Tigers have rumored interest in Braves starter Derek Lowe. Naturally this starts with Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports. The man is a rumor-collecting genius.
The sources indicated that the sides have not had serious talks, and Lowe’s high salary could be a big barrier for Detroit. He is owed roughly $6 million over the rest of this season and $15 million next year.
But the Tigers have made a starting pitcher their No. 1 priority, and the price in prospects for Lowe would be much less than the acquisition cost on Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez.
Well, maybe that's who Al Avila was on the phone with during yesterday's game! Or maybe he was ordering pizza. I wouldn't want that Little Caesars stuff either, Al.
When I see "Lowe is owed $15 million next year" my first reaction is "AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE" by the way -- much like my reaction to Little Caesars. But maybe I'm wrong there. On Lowe, not the cardboard pizza. Who wouldn't want to pay a 38-year-old righthander whose ERA hasn't been under 4.00 in the National League in three seasons $15 million? It's like the hometown discount in reverse!
Of course, if the Braves paid a sizable portion of that, asked for some C-grade prospect and maybe included a nice New York style pizza, we could talk. Lowe's K rate is 16.7% -- up slightly over last year -- and his walk rate is 8.5% -- also higher. His BABIP is in line with what you'd expect based on the previous two seasons. His ground ball rate of 60% sounds awesome until you remember the Tigers infield stinks. The bright side is that Lowe seems to be limiting home runs and would likely continue that in Detroit.
I checked out what SB Nation Atlanta had to think about this, and, er ...
Derek Lowe is currently the worst pitcher in our starting rotation
Ringing endorsement, indeed.
So Lowe probably wouldn't be my top choice. With this team, only strikeout artists will do, frankly.
My ranking of rumored names: Ubaldo Jimenez (pipe dream obviously), Hiroki Kuroda, Wandy Rodriguez, Derek Lowe
Tigers, Giants favorites for Carlos Beltran?
Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that if the Mets are willing to move Carlos Beltran's salary in exchange for a lesser take of prospects, only two teams seem viable trade partners: San Francisco and Detroit. (Via MLB Trade Rumors)
Beltran clearly is a better alternative since he can hit in the middle of any team’s lineup. But when outside executives were asked if they saw any teams willing to take on most to all of what is left on Beltran’s contract, the only two named consistently were the Giants and Tigers. But, again, the Mets could not then expect a significant prospect return.
Conversely, if they were willing to eat a large amount of dollars, then suddenly even payroll-challenged teams such as the Indians, Diamondbacks and Pirates would be in play.
So make of that what you will.