According to a source familiar with the negotiations, Derek Lowe is likely to continue shopping for a more desirable offer after the New York Mets presented him with a three-year, $36 million offer on Tuesday.
While some reports have placed Lowe’s target in the range of five years and $90 million, a much more probable outcome is that Lowe ends up with a three- or four-year deal worth in the rage of $14-$15 million annually. It was unclear whether the Mets’ proposal included any type of option, but the sides last week were dicsussing a pair of proposals, one being a four-year offer and the other being a three-year proposal with a vesting option.
Part of the reason the Mets may have entered the bidding with a relatively conservative offer is because they believe Lowe has no other suitors in the Northeast, where the pitcher has expressed a desire to pitch. The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies had only preliminary conversations with Lowe and none of those clubs is believed to be interested in the pitcher at this time.
Lowe just came off a four-year, $36 million deal (an average of $9 million per season) with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While he is stylistically much different than right-hander A.J. Burnett – that is to say that Lowe is not nearly as dominating on his best day – Lowe has been far more durable and consistent that Burnett. Lowe, 35, is also older than Burnett, who will turn 32 on Saturday.
Earlier this offseason, Burnett agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Yankees that will pay him an average of $16.5 million per season.