With the news that John Smoltz may be headed to the Red Sox, it should come as a no surprise that the Braves appear to be intensifying their pursuit of another free-agent pitcher: Derek Lowe.
According to a baseball source, Lowe is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Braves this afternoon in Atlanta. The Braves have spent much of the offseason looking for another starting pitcher since since acquiring Javier Vazquez from the Chicago White Sox and now appear focused on Lowe as that alternative.
Thus far, it has been a tough offseason for the Braves, who have come up empty in pursuits of Smoltz, pitchers Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnett, and shortstop Rafael Furcal, among others. Atlanta always has appeared to have some interest in Lowe, but until now, indications were that Lowe preferred to focus his sights on teams in the Northeast.
At the moment, Lowe is believed to have only a three-year offer from the New York Mets worth $36 million, an average of $12 million per year. The Braves may be in a position where they have to guarantee a fourth year at a higher average annual salary in order to get a deal done with the pitcher.
The Red Sox are not involved in negotiations for Lowe.