TODAY: Lowe’s guarantee actually comes in at $11MM in total, Rosenthal tweets.
YESTERDAY, 12:36pm: Lowe’s contract will guarantee him a hefty $13MM — $6.5MM per year — over the life of the contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). That’s quite a raise for a player who inked a minor league pact last offseason.
8:35am: The Tigers are in agreement with right-hander Mark Lowe on a two-year contract to join the team as a setup man, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Last night, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com was the first to break that the Tigers were discussing and, in fact, nearing the completion of a two-year deal with the Frye McCann Sports client.
Lowe, 32, revived his career in 2015 with an outstanding season. While he was much stronger in Seattle, prior to being traded to the Blue Jays, the veteran reliever was solid all throughout the year. Lowe pitched to an even 1.00 ERA with a dazzling 47-to-11 K/BB ratio in 36 innings with Seattle, prompting the Blue Jays to acquire in him late July. He logged a 3.79 ERA with the AL East champs, striking out 14 against just one walk in 19 innings of regular season work. All told, Lowe posted an excellent 1.96 ERA with 10.0 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 40.3 percent ground-ball rate in the regular season before yielding a pair of earned runs in 4 2/3 postseason frames.
As MLBTR’s Jeff Todd noted last night when Crasnick first reported news of the near-agreement, Lowe’s success was largely attributable to a revitalized fastball which averaged 95.5 mph — his highest mark since 2011. The increased life on his fastball improved the results of Lowe’s slider, as Eno Sarris explained at Fangraphs, leading to markedly better results across the board.
The Tigers will hope that Lowe’s restored velocity — and thus his overall resurgence — is sustainable. He should step into the Detroit bullpen as one of the top (if not the top) setup option for recently acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez, perhaps alongside hard-throwing Bruce Rondon and Alex Wilson, who enjoyed a breakout in 2015. Lowe will, ideally, serve as an upgrade over the talented but control-challenged Al Alburquerque, who was non-tendered by the Tigers last week. If Lowe, Rondon, Wilson and Rodriguez all pitch to their capabilities, the Tigers will have an impressive group of right-handed arms to rely upon late in games. Further bullpen additions, though, shouldn’t be ruled out. In particular, a left-handed relief option would seem to be a prudent add; Blaine Hardy, Kyle Ryan and Kyle Lobstein presently represent the most experienced left-handed relief options at the back of manager Brad Ausmus’ bullpen.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Like the signing but still want to know price.
Starting to look like an upgrade. Don’t stop now. Grab a SOLID lefty to help Hardy.
I would prefer they sign Tony Sipp, but would be satisfied with Anthony Bastardo, and would be ecstatic if they were able to trade for Jake McGee.
Hoping for Tony Sipp, would settle for Anthony Bastardo, would be ecstatic if they were able to trade for Jake McGee.
He had a really nice season last year. This is a good deal if he stays healthy, though since he averaged 23 IP per season the five years before, there is no guarantee.
A very solid signing. I’d still expect us to go for a lefty, and then who knows. Hopefully we approach the rest of the offseason opportunistically.
Good deal at that price point. Some risk. But any reliever not named Mariano is risky.
Detroit is actively signing players Zymmerman, Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe, traded for Maybin, and maybe they are done yet.
Big money. Let’s hope the Tigers get Lowe’s first half with the Mariners, and not the 2nd half with the Jays.
Little bit of an overpay in my eyes. Hes a middle reliever who really doesnt have an extensive track record of consistency.
That’s the cost of doing business. If he can produce anything close to his #’s last year…he’d be a steal and trade candidate for yr2.
I also want bring up a point to all the fans who have said that my trade proposals have stupid or dum you need look up your history they have been plenty of trades involve 3 or more team involving many plays and do you know what biggest trade in mlb history was between just 2 teams was it was between the ny Yankees and Detroit tiger in 1956 involving 18 players so to say me proposing trades between 3 mor more teams or me talking about more then 10 to 20 player know you history before you all speak and I also post the number Shelby miller post last Season are close to other great pitchers at the same age including 4 of pitcher who sign big deal last 2 years and they have won several c young so look at what I posted on post about miller and same could be said about 24 year old Julio Tehran .
If Rosenthal is right this is a better deal and leaves another $1mm available for a lefty RP.
I can’t make myself like this signing. Mark Lowe had 1 good season in 8.
My hope is that Brad Ausmus discontinues managing his pen as badly as Jim Leland did.