Derek Lowe a Terrible Free Agent Signing

Josh LevittSenior Analyst ISeptember 22, 2009

ATLANTA - AUGUST 01:  Starting pitcher Derek Lowe #32 of the Atlanta Braves against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 1, 2009 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I'd like to have a word or two with Ted Keith.

Not only did he put Ryan Dempster on the list of worst free agent contracts, but more surprisingly, he did not put Derek Lowe on his list.

How is this possible? Just look at the stats:

Lowe is now 36 years old. He signed a four-year, $60 million contract with the Braves last offseason. He still has another three years and $45 million left on the deal. His ERA went up more than a full point this year: 3.24 to 4.55.

His WHIP is way up from 2008: 1.13 to 1.49. His hits/nine innings is way up this year, too: 8.3 to 10.6. His strikeouts are way down: only 99 this season. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is way down at 1.77.

Hitters are hitting .295 against him this season. His percentage of ground balls is at its lowest point in over seven years: 56.5 percent.

So as you can see, it's not hard to look at Lowe's stats and say that the 2009 season has been a major disappointment for him. But for some reason, Keith still keeps him off the list.

Was it a mistake or simply an oversight? Who knows?

The only way I can see someone rationalizing this is by saying, "Derek Lowe has 15 wins this season so there's no way you can say he was one of the worst free agent contracts."

But as we can see from the stats, Derek Lowe's season cannot be defined by wins and losses. Across the board, his performance has been down this season.

The wins argument is hogwash.


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