November 13, 2007

Lowell On The Open Market

Mike Lowell can now hear offers from any of the other 29 teams.

That the midnight deadline of Red Sox exclusivity passed last night should not be read as a sign that Lowell is leaving. The chances that Lowell would not even see what the open market could offer him for the next four years -- the last big contract he will sign as a major league player -- were very, very low.

In his mind, he may like what the "very strong" three-year deal the Red Sox offered him, but I can't blame him for being curious about what is out there.

The Herald says the Sox originally did not want to guarantee a third year, but they agreed to do so -- at $12 million a year. The Journal says the contract was approximately 3/40. So the deal was at least 3/36.

It sure sounds like the Sox are dead set against a fourth year, which I agree with. There are players you overpay for -- but Mike Lowell, who will be 34 years old on Opening Day 2008, is not one of them.

If another team (MFY?) offers Lowell a four-year deal than ends up being a good $20 million more than Boston's -- 14 per for 4/56? -- I won't blame him one bit for taking it.

Lowell has made comments about how wonderful it is to pay in Boston -- after toiling for several years in 1/3-filled parks with the Marlins. Whether he believes that is worth leaving several million dollars on the table remains to be seen.

10 comments:

Zenslinger said...

Well said. I don't suppose I would blame him either. Drawing a line in the sand between three and four years is reasonable. The Yanks seem to have this parity among their players at $13m/year. 4/52 would be difficult to turn down versus 3/39. And if it's fans he's looking for, the Yanks have those, too.

He will come down to earth offensively. But I like him for the next two years, third less so, but the fourth it's likely he won't be worth the expenditure.

Still, I hope he comes back to us. He's so damn likable (the 120 RBIs help).

Bray said...

I have to respectfully disagree. First, I think 12 mil per, which is less than JD Drew gets, is actually underpaying him. Second, I do think that Lowell is an underrated athlete. No one seems to say it's weird that people are talking about giving Slappy a contract that would pay him into his late 30s because he is "such a great athlete". I think Lowell is not Damon- he doesn't run into walls, he is not injury prone. I thnk the guy will be fine when he is 38.
Second, I think there is something that he does in that clubhouse. I can't remember the last time so many teammates have advocated for re-signing a guy. And for many different reasons. Even DP talked about it yesterday.
Basically this is my long-ass way of saying "He should be offered more, and it's not overpaying." Or stated another way: if you're going to offer him 3 years, at least make it a sweet payday.
I have my nagging doubts about whether this whole thing was just for show. When Theo really wants someone, he overpays for them, just like everybody else.

Sean O said...

I'm praying that Lowell goes to the Yankees for 4/$56. We want them as old and expensive as possible, and Lowell will fit that bill.

How many bunt singles will Ellsbury get in 2011 by dropping it between Posada and Lowell?

redsock said...

I really like Lowell, but his 2007 is the very definition of a career year (same thing for Dumbo). And I truly think it's great for him that it came in a contract year.

In 2007, he batted .324 -- 31 points higher than his previous season high. Career high .378 OBP -- not all that great, only 53 walks. Good slugging, but he slugged better in 2003 and 2004.

2007: .324/.378/.501
Career: .280/.344/.468

What he does from ages 34-38 will likely be more in line with his career # and not 2007. That should be obvious.

When he came here, a lot of us (me included) felt he was cooked and vastly overpaid at $9 per and were moaning about his poor production, assuming his 2005 line of .236/.298/.360 would be stinking up our lineup.

It is fantastic that he turned it around, and he seems like a great guy, but let's not make the mistake of thinking he's suddenly become a .320 hitter.

I wouldn't go more than two years. Three is pushing it. He has great hands in the field, but his range is declining, too.

redsock said...

No one seems to say it's weird that people are talking about giving Slappy a contract that would pay him into his late 30s because he is "such a great athlete".

That's because Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

Lowell's best OPS+ season was 128.

A-Rod's career OPS+ is 147. His two greatest seasons have come in the last three years.

redsock said...

From BR:

A-Rod - Similar Batters through Age 31
Ken Griffey (793)
Mel Ott (784) *
Hank Aaron (765) *
Frank Robinson (748) *
Jimmie Foxx (739) *
Mickey Mantle (721) *
Eddie Mathews (706) *
Vladimir Guerrero (671)
Rogers Hornsby (651) *
Johnny Bench (647) *

Lowell - Similar Batters through Age 33
Paul O'Neill (924)
Ron Cey (915)
Doug DeCinces (911)
Ken Caminiti (905)
Todd Zeile (903)
Gabby Hartnett (902) *
Jackie Jensen (898)
Bret Boone (898)
Rondell White (894)
Mike Sweeney (893)

* = HoF.

Is Slappy worth double what Lowell will make? Probably not, but that is a different subject.

Bray said...

Redsock
i hear you. There is no doubt Rodriguez is one of the greats...but I was referring to the weird science of predicting how guys perform as they age. Is Slappy's body for sure going to hold that much better than Lowell's? People seem so sure, it's like they have A-Rod fever.
Also, maybe Mikey is also starting a late bloom because he is in the right city and right clubhouse. It's just as much of a guess...plus i am inclined to believe it more cuz i like him. Plus he's got that cool veteran thing which is nothing to sneeze at as we move to the future. I like him for 3 years with a handsome payday. If Tek wasn't already there and he was 2 years younger, I'd swear the guys would try to make him captain. Having just played ball all summer, I can tell you what an amazing thing it is to have a guy like that in the dugout. It ain't all that "intangible."

redsock said...

Is Slappy's body for sure going to hold that much better than Lowell's? People seem so sure, it's like they have A-Rod fever.

Nothing is a sure thing.

Theo et al. have obviously looked ahead to the 3B who will be free agents in 2008, 2009 and 2010, as well as their own systems (and those of the other 29 teams). Also, they may be thinking of moving Yook back to third and getting a 1B.

It does seem like the new Red Sox put their top offer on the table and say "This is what we'll pay." Very little back and forth. Whether they will budge from the 3/40-ish offer when they see other teams are offering four years is the big question mark. If I had to bet, I'd say no -- and that Lowell now knows exactly what Boston will pay and for how long.

Bray said...

It does seem like the new Red Sox put their top offer on the table and say "This is what we'll pay." Very little back and forth. Whether they will budge from the 3/40-ish offer when they see other teams are offering four years is the big question mark. If I had to bet, I'd say no -- and that Lowell now knows exactly what Boston will pay and for how long.

how do you that quote text thing?

yes i agree. And i find it a little depressing.
it also brings up in me a strange thing about rooting for specific guys vs. rooting for an entity known as a "club". but that is another post. thanks as always for your research and insight.

redsock said...

italics?

put [i] at the front and [/i] at the end, but use < and > instead of the brackets

use "b" for bolding

and for links:
[a href="URL"]your text[/a]

again with < and > instead of brakcets

...

AL Cy Young results in 10 minutes!