The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the Braves have reached an agreement with Derek Lowe on a four-year $60 million contract.
The Braves have finally made a signing after missing out on several targets this offseason, including Jake Peavy, Rafael Furcal, and John Smoltz.
For the first time this offseason, the New York Mets have missed out on one of their top targets. The Mets had Lowe at the top of their wish list of starting pitchers and appeared to be in good position to sign the Scott Boras client.
General Manager Omar Minaya had a three-year $36 million offer on the table and appeared willing to give more money. It seems the deal breaker for the Mets (and what sealed the deal for Lowe and Atlanta) was guaranteeing a fourth year.
The Mets have signed starting pitcher Tim Redding, but still have a gaping hole in their rotation that needs to be filled.
Next on their list is Oliver Perez.
The Mets reportedly offered Perez a three-year deal worth about $10 million per season on Monday. The Mets will likely need to up their offer for Perez, also a Boras client, to bring him back to New York.
Perez has shown promise in his two and half years with the Mets, posting a 3.56 ERA in 2007, but struggles with control issues. He led the majors with 105 walks in 2008.
The market for Perez is unclear, as no other teams have shown much interest thus far.
Randy Wolf is the other likely option for the Mets.
With Lowe gone, maybe Minaya will look into ex-Brewer Ben Sheets, who had an excellent 3.09 ERA last season. Sheets usually strikes out many batters and walks very few (career 3.85 K/BB), but is very injury prone, and the Mets have yet to show interest in him.
Pedro Martinez also remains an option to compete for a spot in the rotation, though it is unlikely the Mets will bring him back.
Having a strong rotation is just as important as solidifying the bullpen. We'll see what Minaya does next.