I was skeptical when the Dodgers signed Scott Boras client Derek Lowe to a four-year, $36MM deal in January of ’05 following an awful season for Boston. Lowe proved his detractors wrong by demonstrating durability and effectiveness over his first three Dodger seasons. He’s off to a nice start in this year as well.
Since the beginning of the ’05 season, Lowe’s 3.64 ERA ranks 11th among all starters with 600 innings. He doesn’t get enough credit – he’s been a legitimate #1 starter during this contract.
Lowe will sign his next deal as a 35 year-old (he hasn’t had any extension talks with the Dodgers). Despite Lowe’s age, I have a hunch Boras can squeeze at least three years out of some team. PECOTA wouldn’t pay more than $20MM for his 2009-11 seasons, though his market price should be twice that. Other top free agent pitchers next winter include Oliver Perez, C.C. Sabathia, Ben Sheets, and possibly A.J. Burnett. Lowe is likely to require the shortest term.