Running Lowe on Options: Where Do the New York Mets Turn Now?

Jason BurkeCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2009

Time seemed to be on the Mets side early this offseason. Patience landed them a new record-setting closer at half the price he was looking for. Patience has also yielded them a trade which in return gave them a fire-balling set-up man.


Patience has long worked for Omar Minaya. Last year, he waited out the Minnesota Twins high price for Johan Santana, eventually landing him despite the efforts of the Yankees and Red Sox.


Now that his patience has revamped the bullpen, Omar has turned his sights to the next priority on the agenda: the starting rotation. 


A week ago, rumors swirled that the Mets wanted Derek Lowe and he in turn wanted them. The only sticking point to this marriage was years and dollar signs. The Mets offering three years and $36 million and Lowe’s super agent, Scott Boras, asking for five years at $90 million.


After Lowe rejected the offer, patience, again was the Mets' virtue and why not since it had worked for them in the past. 


Well, now Lowe is a Brave and the Mets are running out of options. Oliver Perez, no doubt, has all the power on his side in negotiations. They will likely have to up the ante for a player who is 27 years old, a lefty, and no matter how inconsistent he is, has proven valuable against big name teams. 


The Mets' original offer for three years at $30 million will likely sky rocket.


The Mets do have other options, though, and the signing of Tim Redding gives them flexibility in the fifth spot. Omar will no doubt have to take a long, hard look at Randy Wolf if someone swoops in and nabs Perez at the last moment.


Wolf is older than Perez but a left-hander who’s compiled a 90-78 win loss record and a 4.26 ERA over his 10 years in the bigs. If Omar doesn’t think Wolf’s a good fit, he has the options of Jon Garland or bringing back Pedro Martinez.


He also has the high risk/high reward alternative of taking out a flyer on Ben Sheets.


Sheets, when healthy, has front of the rotation stuff and can be dominant. The flip side is that he is once again coming off a season which ended in injury. However, up until that point he posted an impressive 13-9 record, 3.09 ERA, and 198 innings logged.  But it's uncertain that he can make it to the end of the season.


The end of the season is where the Mets seem to need one of these guys the most and, if the Mets are too patient, then the end might come sooner than they'd like to think.