Jan. 9 Mets Update -- Tim Redding, Derek Lowe, etc.

7:20 PM

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The Mets today signed right-hander Tim Redding to a one-year contract that guarantees him $2.25 million. The deal won't be announced until Redding passes a physical, which should be sometime next week.

The Mets wanted to bring a veteran in to compete with Jon Niese for the No. 5 spot, according to a person familiar with their thinking, and Redding was their top choice. They also had been considering Pedro Martinez for that role, and it's unclear whether the Redding signing closes the door on Pedro. But assuming they go sign Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez (and they remain confident they will get one of them), it certainly makes it harder for Pedro to win a spot in the rotation if he does come back.

As for Lowe, the Braves are talking about $14 million per year for three years, according to a different person familiar with their thinking. They have yet to make a formal "offer," but as I'm sure you can tell that's all semantics anyway.


What do we mean by that? Well, we all know the Mets discussed a proposal with Lowe a week or so ago that was for three years and $36 million. Is that an "offer?" Depends on your perspective. The Mets may have considered it one, in that they'd have been prepared to sign that deal had Lowe and his agent said they liked it at the time. Lowe and his agent may not have considered it one, since it wasn't in writing or, more importantly, what they had in mind. "There can be suggestions about things, but whether it's accepted by us as an offer is an entirely different matter," that agent, Scott Boras, said last week at the Mark Teixeira press conference. He was speaking generally, not about the Lowe negotiations specifically, but you get the idea. Both sides have reasons to say there have or have not been "offers," but what it all means is that until a deal is done, a deal is not done.


From what I can tell from taking to Mets people today, they're sure they'll get either Lowe or Perez and they still expect they'll get Lowe. They'll probably be willing to go as high as $42 million for three years and may be willing to talk about a fourth-year vesting option. They believe the Braves want Lowe, but they don't think Atlanta will actually outbid them. This jives with what I'm hearing from people familiar with the Braves' thinking -- that the Braves hope to make an offer comparable to the Mets' offer and convince Lowe that Atlanta is the better place to play.

If that happens, the Mets people say, they'll take their chances. And if they make a good offer and he takes the same or a little less to go to Atlanta, then they'll turn their attention to Perez, who right now has no other suitors.

Of course, that's a little dangerous. After all, Perez's agent is Boras, who didn't have any other suitors for Lowe a week ago before the Braves appeared out of nowhere. Boras is the master at finding the suitors and getting the deal he wants.

As of now, though, the Mets are counting on the brutal facts of the current economic marketplace in their belief that they can get the pitcher they want for the deal they want. It worked when they needed a closer, and they believe it'll work now that they need a starter, too.

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