It has just been reported that the Mets are currently negotiating a contract with Scott Boras and one of his starting pitching clients. Unfortunately, it is not the one I believe they should be going after.
Derek Lowe, the durable 35-year-old righty, is seeking a three to four-year contract worth about $16 million per season, nearly identical to the contract Oliver Perez is looking for.
If both free agents want the same amount of money, all we have to do is look at each player and we can determine who is worth the money.
As a big Mets fan, I've seen a lot of Oliver Perez, and if you've paid attention to the team the last couple of seasons, you'll know that Ollie is indeed a headcase. This guy can pitch seven excellent innings against the Yankees one week, and then give up five runs in the first inning to the Washington Nationals the next.
In fact, his nickname should be "roller coaster Ollie," because that's a perfect description of how this guy's season is going to go. There's going to be plenty of ups where you see him have number one type stuff, but then there are also going to be games where you think he should be pitching in a sandlot beer league because he can't hit the strike zone to save his life.
Derek Lowe, on the other hand, has won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox and has been very consistent throughout his entire career, winning over 12 games every season since 2002, when he won a career high 21 games!
You can count on Lowe to take the ball 32 times a year and know that he will always give you a solid chance to win the game, posting an ERA around 3.50.
Based on these two descriptions, you'd think that it's a no-brainer for the Mets to go after Derek, but I happen to disagree. I believe the Mets should re-sign Oliver Perez, and here's why.
A BIG reason why I want Oliver Perez back is his age. He is 27 years old and now entering his prime. Even though Derek Lowe has not showed any signs of slowing down, I'd rather have the Mets throw out an inconsistent youngster then someone at the back end of his career.
Haven't we learned our lesson from watching Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, and El Duque the past two seasons? If we were to get any of these players, we should have gotten them TEN years BEFORE the time that we brought them in, and the same goes for Lowe.
If you've watched the Mets all your life like me, you know that we need to get away bringing in all of these soon to be retirees.
2) Injury Proneness
Now before you blast me, hear me out. I know that Lowe has been injury free his whole career, but with the Mets' luck he will go down in Spring Training. Sure, Lowe has a good track record of staying healthy, but who is to say that's going to continue now that he's approaching 40!
Oliver Perez, on the other hand, has been injury free as well, and he is MORE likely to stay off the DL during the next three or four years than Derek Lowe would be.
3) Getting our money's worth
Oliver Perez will be entering his prime over the next four years, while Derek Lowe will be getting closer to the retirement home. If we sign Lowe to a four-year contract, he will give us diminishing returns, just like Pedro Martinez did as a member of the Mets. He may give us a couple of good seasons, but then his effectiveness may decline towards the end of the contract, where as Oliver will only improve and become more consistent as the years go by.
4) Big Game Ollie
Other than Johan Santana, WHAT OTHER PITCHER would you want out there in a big game???? MY pick is Oliver Perez! When the time comes for this guy to bear down and focus, he gets the job done.
5) Number One Type stuff
The final reason why the Mets should keep Oliver Perez is because he has number one type stuff. I have faith in Ollie. Not many believe that he will settle in and become a consistent top of the rotation pitcher, but I do. He WILL find himself during the next two seasons and become one of the top pitchers in the National League, and I DEMAND that he does this as a member of the New York Metropolitans.
Sorry Derek Lowe—you're a very nice player and all, but it's obvious that the Mets should re-sign Oliver Perez and not you.