Derek Lowe Rumors
Five teams have contacted Derek Lowe according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, and all five have expressed interest in signing him as a swingman. The veteran right-hander is looking for an opportunity to start, however.
“I’ve heard the same thing from everyone,” said Lowe. “I want to be a starter and feel I have a lot left in being a regular starter in a rotation and making my 30-plus starts. I can still do that. It’s frustrating to see other starters who have come off injuries get a shot, and I’ve never been hurt and can still help a team. I’m sure things will get going for me in January. I want to pitch. I’m nowhere near ready to retire.”
Lowe, 39, pitched to a 5.11 ERA with his typically high ground ball rate (59.2%) in 142 2/3 innings for the Indians and Yankees last season. He was much more effective in a relief role with New York (3.04 ERA in 23 2/3 innings) after signing in August. Prior to 2012, Lowe had made at least 30 starts and thrown at least 180 innings in ten straight seasons.
The Red Sox will interview Rick Peterson for their pitching coach job, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). The Orioles granted Boston permission to interview Peterson, who is currently Baltimore's director of pitching development and is a former pitching coach with the A's, Mets and Brewers.
Here's the latest from around the AL East...
- No teams have yet contacted the Yankees about a possible Alex Rodriguez trade, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Orioles have scouted Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, confirming an earlier report from Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that the O's had interest in the 18-year-old prospect. Since Otani has already been drafted (though not signed) by the NPL's Nippon Ham Fighters, Connolly suspects the O's might not make any quick attempts to sign Otani given the Orioles' issues last season in trying to sign Korean southpaw Seong-Min Kim.
- Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton are both too expensive for the Orioles' taste, writes MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko in an analysis of free agents who won't be pursued by the O's this winter. The team doesn't have interest in free agent pitchers Derek Lowe, Jeremy Guthrie, Edwin Jackson or Erik Bedard, while Kevin Youkilis is a longshot based on Baltimore's concerns about his health.
- James Loney has a less than 50-50 chance of returning to the Red Sox, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich, though the Sox see Loney as a "Plan B" if they're still looking for first base help later in the offseason.
- The Rays have been denied permission by St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster to explore new stadium sites in nearby counties in Tampa Bay, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The Rays' lease at Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season.
- Mariano Rivera's retirement could help the Yankees avoid a tough decision with the closer's job, opines Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. If Rivera retired, the Yankees could then pursue a new contract with Rafael Soriano without worrying about committing too much payroll space on closers.
- From earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post had more items about the Yankees.
John Farrell has officially joined the Red Sox after many months of intense speculation. Here are some links, starting in Boston with Farrell’s new team...
- Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo is a strong candidate to join Farrell with the Red Sox, perhaps as the team's bench coach, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. We heard lots about the possibilities for Lovullo yesterday.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman acknowledged that Alex Rodriguez is not a superstar, but said he's still an "above-average" player, Peter Botte of the New York Daily News reports. The GM repeated that a deal involving Rodriguez seems "unrealistic." The 37-year-old has five years and $114MM remaining on a contract that includes no-trade protection.
- Derek Lowe, who pitched out of the bullpen for the Yankees down the stretch, says he would like to start again in 2013, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Lowe hits free agency this offseason and probably won't interest the Yankees as a starter in the estimation of Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues.
- Andruw Jones, who also hits free agency this offseason, said he intends to play for four more years, according to King.
The Yankees are fighting to finish the season atop the American League East as the Orioles' strong play has put them neck-and-neck with the Bombers. Here's a look at the latest on the Yankees as they take on the Red Sox in Boston..
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wouldn't be surprised to see the Yankees abandon their plan to get under the $189MM luxury tax threshold for 2014 if they wind up missing the playoffs. However, should that happen, Sherman suggests that the Bombers should stay the course as the four other largest payroll teams would all miss the playoffs if they started today. The Yankees invested $423.5MM in C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett after missing the playoffs in 2008.
- Yankees pitcher Derek Lowe said he's not sure if he wants to go forward as a reliever next season, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. "I'll sort that out in the offseason," the 39-year-old said. Lowe had a 5.52 ERA with 3.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 21 starts for the Indians this season before being DFA'd on August 2nd. Back in August, agent Scott Boras admitted that contending clubs probably won't look at his client as a starter when he hits the open market.
- Andy Pettitte threw a four-inning, 55-pitch simulated game earlier today and insists that he's ready to return to action, writes David Waldstein of the New York Times. Despite the 40-year-old's confidence, the Yankees aren't yet convinced that he's ready to go.
The Yankees have more wins than any American League team thanks to the second-best offense in baseball and solid pitching. Here's the latest from the Bronx...
- The Yankees will almost certainly extend a one-year qualifying offer to Nick Swisher after the season, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Though the Yankees would love for Swisher to accept the offer, it’s more likely that the switch hitter will decline in search of a multiyear contract.
- Sherman wonders if the Yankees would consider keeping Swisher long-term. Though the Yankees are expected to retain Curtis Granderson and let Swisher leave as a free agent, they could change course and keep Swisher, who would likely be more affordable than Granderson.
- Agent Scott Boras acknowledged that contending teams won’t look to Derek Lowe as a starting pitcher this coming offseason. “Probably the only way, at this point of his career, to get on a good team this year and next year was as a reliever,” Boras told Sherman. The agent said his client should thrive in his new role. “Derek Lowe in the bullpen is a Lamborghini because he can do it all. He can pitch long, he can pitch in the seventh, eighth or ninth. This man is a Renaissance man.”
- Sherman wonders whether the Yankees will use David Phelps as trade bait, project him in the rotation, or rely on him as insurance for the rotation and the bullpen.
- Ichiro Suzuki is a prime-time player even if he’s in his decline phase, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes. Davidoff suggests it’s unlikely Ichiro will re-sign with the Yankees this coming offseason.
The Yankees (69-47) own the best record in the AL, but the Mets (55-61) grabbed some headlines yesterday by acquiring Kelly Shoppach from the Red Sox for a player to be named later. Here's the latest out of the Big Apple...
- Ken Davidoff of The New York Post says that the Shoppach acquisition is an encouraging pickup because it shows the Mets are willing to take on money at midseason, something they haven't done in recent years.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson isn't sure how much money he'll have to spend on his roster this offseason, reports Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal. He said he also has yet to think about extending manager Terry Collins, who is under contract through next season.
- Davidoff reports that the Yankees preferred Derek Lowe to A.J. Burnett during the 2008-2009 offseason, but they had concerns about the sinkerballer's ground ball tendencies and their infield defense. New York signed Burnett back then, but traded him to the Pirates this offseason while adding Lowe this week.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com notes (on Twitter) that the MLB owners meetings will be held in Denver later this week. They are expected to vote on the sale of the Padres, but the Athletics/Giants/San Jose issue is unlikely to be resolved. Here's the latest from around the league...
- The Giants, Orioles, Phillies, and Red Sox all had interest in Derek Lowe before he signed with the Yankees, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- The Mets have not yet put Scott Hairston on trade waivers, reports Ken Davidoff of The New York Post. Davidoff argues that the Amazin's should trade the outfielder this month.
- Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com says that it's lazy to blame the Twins' struggles on their payroll, particularly the $23MM owed to Joe Mauer on an annual basis.
- Josh Slagter of mLive.com says the Tigers should give top prospect Nick Castellanos a shot, similar to how the Orioles used Manny Machado to bolster their lineup.
- In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney mentions that he's heard Mark Kotsay's name pop-up as a future big league manager. The Padres signed the veteran to a one-year extension yesterday, so he's not ready to transition to coaching just yet.
MONDAY: The Yankees have officially announced the signing in a press release and say they will use Lowe out of the bullpen. Their 40-man roster is now full.
SATURDAY: The Yankees have agreed to sign Derek Lowe, reports Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger (on Twitter). New York placed CC Sabathia on the DL with elbow stiffness today, so the move figures to replenish some pitching depth. Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (on Twitter) that the veteran right-hander has agreed to pitch out of the bullpen.
Lowe, 39, was released by the Indians earlier this week. He pitched to a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts for Cleveland this season, including an 8.80 ERA in his last dozen starts. He walked (45) more batters than he struck out (41) in 119 innings, though he was still generating plenty of ground balls (60.0%) with that sinker.
The Indians acquired Lowe from the Braves this past offseason and only had to pay $5MM of his $15MM salary. They're still on the hook for that money less the pro-rated portion of the league minimum, which the Yankees will pay.
Lowe is willing to start or relieve, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). There's a sense that Lowe will return to the National League Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday. The Cubs aren't interested and the Red Sox will pass.
Lowe, 39, posted a 5.52 ERA with 3.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 119 innings with Cleveland this year. He earns a $15MM salary, but the Braves and Indians are responsible for all but the pro-rated MLB minimum at this point.
In our poll this afternoon, more than 3,300 MLBTR readers told us that they believe the Orioles will finish the season with an above-.500 record but will not qualify for the postseason. Baltimore came into the day in a four-way tie for the two AL Wild Card spots. Here's the latest from Charm City, courtesy of The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly...
- “No, we are looking around every day,” said GM Dan Duquette when asked if the Manny Machado call-up means they are closing the door on acquiring players from outside the organization.
- The Orioles have expressed some interest in the recently released Lyle Overbay, but they might not have room for him on the roster.
- There's a sense that Derek Lowe will wind up back in National League once he clears waivers tomorrow, but the Orioles could have interest according to Connolly.
- Endy Chavez is expected to clear waivers tomorrow and will likely accept an assignment to Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate.
- We had some more Orioles links earlier this morning.