Derek Lowe Signs With The Braves

Derek Lowe

Derek Lowe

Yesterday, the Braves reached a 4 year, $60 million agreement with starting pitcher Derek Lowe.   Lowe, who spent the last four years with the LA Dodgers, will turn 36 in June.  The Braves, who missed out on Jake Peavy and AJ Burnett, were desperate to add another starter to their rotation.

From all I’ve read, people seem either very happy (mostly Braves fans) or feel like the Braves got hosed (mostly everyone else).  As a Braves fan, I’m pretty happy.  We needed another starter in a bad way.Lowe has a career record of 126-107 with an ERA of 3.75.  He has also compiled 85 saves for the Red Sox from 1999-2001.  Lowe is a notorious sinkerball pitcher with very good control.  His best season, by far, was in 2002, his first as a full time starter.  He put together a 21-8 record with a 2.58 ERA and finished third in the Cy Young balloting.  Last year, for the Dodgers, Lowe was 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA.

The Braves overpaid for Lowe, since he’ll turn 36 next season.  When the contract is up, he’ll be 39.  Not many pitchers maintain their effectiveness into their late 30s, but Lowe doesn’t overpower people, so maybe that will help.

Lowe has had a few character flaws.  While in Los Angeles, Lowe and the anchor of the Dodger’s Dugout show, Carolyn Hughes, were linked together in an extra marital affair that led to divorces for each.  Lowe and Hughes were then married in December.

Affairs aside, the Braves have put together a decent rotation for 2009 and maybe a better one for 2010.

1.  Derek Lowe

2. Javy Vazquez

3. Jair Jurrjens

4. Kenshin Kawakami

5.  Charlie Morton/Jo Jo Reyes/Tommy Hanson/Tom Glavine/Jorge Campillo

In 2010, Tim Hudson should be back to full strength after Tommy John Surgery.  I’m on the Tommy Hanson bandwagon, so I think he can be a real contributor in 2010.  Kawakami is a real wildcard.  He’s a Japanese veteran who is coming to the US next year.  There’s no telling what kind of production he’ll give the Braves.

Anyway, I think the Braves are still no better than third in the division right now.  They couldn’t score runs last year and they haven’t done a whole lot to rectify that, so I don’t see a huge change.  There’s still some offseason left though, so we’ll see if the Braves can make another move or two.

One Response

  1. I like the signing. Monetary issues aside. I think Lowe will be an above-average to a good pitcher throughout the duration of the contract (or at least 3 of the years).

    With Lowe, the Braves have a much needed “Ace” for this season. Javy Vazquez cannot handle that kind of role but should be a very nice complement to Lowe.

    With Hudson returning next season, the Braves could have a pretty good rotation. Especially if Jurrigens and Hanson can make moderate strides this season and if they can retain Javy.

    The question is going to be whether or not Lowe + Hanson can outperform Jake Peavy the next few years. Obviously they should be able to but when dealing with Prospects, it’s tough to know for 100% certainty.

    Personally, I’ve said I think the Lowe signing will pan out well. In my honest opinion taking all things into account, do I like the move???


    Do I think it will end up being a good one???


    I agree with many that this was a desperation signing. I think when you factor in the amount of money and years it took to sign a very old pitcher, that it’s dangerous.

    Lowe will give them innings and as I said, will pitch very well. The question is whether the innings+era are worth 15 million a year (it’s not) and that it has to be questionable whether he can give 200 innings each year throughout.

    If you take into account the lack of success the Braves have had in dealings lately (Tex, Peavy miss, Burnett, Smolt, etc.), I understand the move. I just think they overpaid for it.

    I am somewhat a Lowe fan because I have an “Ace” on my teams staff (Mark Buehrle) who gets overlooked for not being a strikeout dominant guy.

    I think there is real value in the term “Ace” and that it is more than just huge numbers. A guy who can win the Big games, take the ball every start, and be consistent throughout the year.

    I think Lowe can deliver on all of those for a couple years. I just really hate the contract because bodies can break down quickly.

    Hopefully it works out for the Braves but we’ll have to wait and see.

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