Is Lowe still underappreciated? My (admittedly VERY anecdotal) observations seem to be that teams are desperate for pitching, and that after Sabathia, Lowe is the most notable free agent pitcher (with the possible exception of Sheets, but his injury history seems to be really deflating his value), and all the losers in the Sabathia sweepstakes are going to bid up the price on Lowe. Those are my impressions from a few months ago, though, and I suppose things might have changed, especially now that Peavy is being dangled out there.
JD Drew is 2+ wins above average over the last four years (which include a season where his kid almost died). That was just at the plate, I’m pretty sure he is at least average in right field as well as running the base paths. Conservatively he is 2 wins better than the average player, say at least 3 better than a replacement level. You can conservatively put Drew down as being worth the money.
Dodger Stadium has actually been pretty neutral over the past few years. He’d probably experience a bit of a jump in ERA in the AL, but if you look at what he did this year, being a groundball pitcher and having the defense behind him that he did, it probably wouldn’t be as big as you expect. I mean he had a couple games with Blake at 3rd and Nomar at SS. That’s 0 range on the left side. Can’t remember if Kent was healthy for those games, but god help a groundball pitcher with those 3 on the same infield. I know Dodger Stadium is known for being a pitchers park, but it’s been pretty neutral recently.
Yeah and it’s not like he put up a 3.26 ERA but had a 4.50 FIP, and you could expect his numbers to get especially ugly in the AL. Sure he’d be hit harder, but as rational people, we’re able to compare him to the rest of the league. If he ends up in the AL, and puts up an ERA+ of 130, he’ll still be very valuable, well worth the $15 mil/yr he’s going to get.
The guy who made that comment was just trying to be “shocking”.
Lowe has already succeeded in the AL with the Red Sox, who may try and lure him back. At his age and price, he is expensive at $15M in an already strong rotation, but he expressed his desire to return to Boston, where he would be welcomed by the Sox very tight infield of Gold Glove Lowell, rookie Lowrie with zero E’s in half the season, ROY Pedroia, Gold Glove Youk.
A rotation of Beckett, Daisuke, Lester, Lowe, Wakefield with Buchholz, Bowden, maybe Masterson as possible starters would be formidable. On the other hand, this rotation is formidable and reasonably priced even without Lowe or CC. Hmmm!
J.D.Drew, despite his downtime, has been worth every penny. His D is Gold Glove caliber. He positions himself well, gets a good jump and, with his speed, makes RF look easy.
He settled in to the AL & Fenway in 2008, literally keeping Boston in contention during June and into July when Papi went down and Manny’s Hammies led to the trade. He is one of the most clutch hitters in the league, and wins big games consistently. He will be shooting for +/- .300/25/100 in 2009, which is where he was heading in 2008 when his back seized up. Bay, Ellsbury, Drew is one of the stronger defensive outfields.
I don’t understand the heavily one-season focus of this article. Yes Lowe put up a very nice season, but it was his age 35 season and they were the best ERA, ERA+, WHIP, etc in 5 years. Why would you expect a 36/37/38 and possibly (depending on deal length) 39 year old pitcher to perform like he did in his BEST year and not decline from what you expect (which would be closer to his lower career numbers than his 2008 numbers to begin with)?
Forget the park factor, he had a 4.42 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP on the road, and his 3-year home/away splits are pretty wide, too. That makes him a question mark. I think $15 mil is about right, but could even turn out to be a bad deal if that split is indicative. He’s the most overrated “underrated player” out there.
Comment by kpresidente — October 31, 2008 @ 9:06 am
The article may have focused on Lowe’s 2008 season, but here are his xFIPs over the past four years with the Dodgers:
Not exactly a one-year wonder. Going by FIP instead of xFIP, he’s averaged about 3.70 over the last four years. I think Dave’s assumption of a 4.25 FIP going forward is conservative enough.
Bargain?? they’re talking about 4 years and 66M. That’s almost 17M annually. He’s not an ace. He’s not even young. and by the way, you can not look at his numbers as a whole. Similarly to how you can’t expect a player to leave Coors Field and produce the same, you can’t expect a pitcher from a picther’s ballpark to do the same elsewhere, and a year older.
And Derek lowe 4 yrs 66M?? I hope that’s just residual BS in case the Yanks couldn’t sign Sabathia. I really hope they know they do not need both. Or the fact that when Hughes looks like a stud this year and the year is over and we’re stuck with Lowe for another 3 years. And if Sabathia chokes this looks even worse. I guess on the bright side, wen Sabathia leaves after 3 years we’ll still have Derek Lowe! and by then with all the deferred money he should be making about $19M.
CAREER AT YANKEE STADIUM
3-5, 52IP, 68H, 20BB, 20K, 9HR, 6.02 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 3.19 BAA
His park adjusted ERA is 4.25. His career park adjusted ERA is 4.56
Na, he didn’t benefit greatly from pitching in Dodger Stadium. Na, not at all. These stats show two different pitchers home and away.
Let’s also not forget that last year he had 70 AB facing a pitcher, and they hit .113 against him.
The #3 and #4 hitter averaged .266, 3.5hr, 15rbi.
Pitchers averaged .113, 0HR, 2RBI
When you supplant the production from a pitcher with that of a DH, and you factor in how pitching in Dodger Stadium helped (park adjusted ERA) elevate his overall performance you can expect his numbers to go up around 1 earned run, and you have one over-priced Boras client that the Yankees are going to make another mistake on.
Lets the Mets have him. A sinker baller in Shea wouldn’t be too bad of an idea, especially f he stays in the NL. If comes to the AL East he’s going to look like Barry Zito.
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