Mets Update -- Derek Lowe, Xavier Nady, Chad Cordero

10:16 AM

(9) Comments

A person involved in the negotiations confirmed this Boston Globe report that Derek Lowe and his agent are meeting with the Braves in Atlanta today. This person said they weren't sure whether the meeting was at the Braves' request or at the request of Lowe and his agent, and for me that's the heart of the matter. These are two very distinct possible scenarios:

1. If the Braves have requested a meeting with Lowe, that means they may be changing the approach they were planning to take for the rest of the off-season. When they failed in their big-money attempt to sign AJ Burnett, a Braves official told me they had no plans to bid on Lowe or any other big-money starting pitcher the rest of the winter. They'd considered Burnett a special case, a special talent worthy of busting their budget for, and they weren't going to swim in the deep financial end of the pool for any of other pitchers that were out there.

However, it appears Lowe isn't going to cost quite as much as it did when we were in Vegas last month. The Mets' have offered $36 million for three years and don't seem inclined to add much money or any years to the offer. The Braves, according to the person I spoke with, could go to four years for Lowe, though it's doubtful they'd want to meet his $16 million-per-year asking price.

Atlanta didn't really think John Smoltz would leave them, and now that Smoltz appears headed to Boston, they may have decided they need a veteran arm in the rotation, which is why it's possible they requested the meeting with Lowe.

2. The more likely scenario, in my opinion, is that Scott Boras requested this meeting (and leaked it) in order to scare the Mets. The Mets' top outfield target (Raul Ibanez) already signed with the division-rival Phillies. The thought of their top starting pitching target (Lowe) signing with Atlanta could be enough to scare them into upping their offer. It's a good strategy, and if Atlanta really does have any interest in Lowe, it's got a chance to work.

Based on the conversations I've had, Mets people don't seem worried. They're probably willing to add between $1 million and $2 million per year to their offer -- to take it up to around $40 million for three years -- but as of this morning they don't think Lowe is going to get a much bigger offer anywhere else, so they're playing it cool.

They also don't hate Oliver Perez as a fallback option, and think they can get him at their price if Lowe does find a beefier offer elsewhere.

So we'll see what happens here. Boras is going to do what he can to get the best deal for Lowe. That's what makes him a good agent. But if he's bluffing, the Mets don't look ready to call it.

In other news, a person familiar with the Mets' meeting with Boras said Manny Ramirez was not a topic of conversation. The Mets have made it clear to Boras that they're not interested in Ramirez, and Boras now seems more focused on stirring up a bidding war between the Dodgers and Giants.

The Mets are, however, on the lookout for corner outfield help and have been trying hard on a familiar name. A person connected with one of the teams told me the Mets have called the Yankees "several times" since the Mark Teixeira signing to express their interest in Xavier Nady. The Yankees have a surplus, and are likely to trade either Nady or Nick Swisher before the season starts. The Mets liked Nady when they had him in 2006 and would like to make thier lineup more right-handed if they can. So they've been aggressive in trying to see if they can get him from the Yankees. But so far, the Yankees are being patient, assuming there will be much interest between now and April in both of those players, and waiting to see how good the offers get.

Ken Davidoff repors in Newsday that the Mets will be one of the teams waching reliever Chad Cordero throw in California this week. This seems like a match that almost has to happen, right? Omar Minaya has tried about 6,000 times over the past three years to trade for Cordero. Now that the guy is a free agent, unless his arm comes flying off his shoulder during the workout, you have to believe the Mets will land him. No real risk, I'm sure -- he'll end up with a low base salary and incentives that kick in if he's healthy, and he fits the Mets' desire to colleck back-end bullpen guys who have experience as closers. So that seems like a no-brainer to me.

But that's me.

9 Responses to "Mets Update -- Derek Lowe, Xavier Nady, Chad Cordero"

bmfc1 said :
January 8, 2009 at 1:01 PM
Dan--please correct this portion of a sentence:
"the Mets have the Yankees called"

Who called whom?
Dan said :
January 8, 2009 at 1:04 PM
Fixed. Sorry. "the Mets have called the Yankees..."

Not sure what happened there. Thanks for catching it.
January 8, 2009 at 1:33 PM
Dan, which has a greater chance of happening? The Mets getting both Lowe and Perez, or Pedro coming back for a 1 year incentive based deal?
Dan said :
January 8, 2009 at 1:36 PM
I have to believe the latter. As I understand it, their hope is to get Lowe OR Perez (preferably Lowe) and then go out and get another veteran starter to compete for the #5 spot. That's where Tim Redding and guys like that come in. I guess Pedro could fit that description, if he'd do it, but the likelihood is that they'll cut ties with Pedro.
January 8, 2009 at 2:11 PM
Is the Wilpon's disinterest in Manny due to the money he'd command, or the controversy he'd stir with his antics?
grab22 said :
January 8, 2009 at 2:16 PM
Why is Orlando Hudson still not signed (or even rumored to be close to signing)? Is he really holding out for the outside chance the Mets could deal Castillo?
fallingissa said :
January 8, 2009 at 2:43 PM
Dan, firstly, I'm glad to see that you are up and commenting on baseball again. I imagine you must be looking for a new NY gig. Any possibilities?

I am a likely minority but kind of lean Ollie in terms of who the Mets resign. My real hope is that the Mets follow the Dodgers lead and BUY OUT LUIS CASTILLO!!!! That would open up a spot for Orlando Hudson who is rumored to want to play hear and probably save Castillo's mental health as this year, he's in for HELL!

Further, small suggestion, perhaps a date for each of your postings?
Dan said :
January 8, 2009 at 2:59 PM
Wow, that's weird. No date. I just noticed that. Why would there be a date on the comments but not the post? I will work on it.
fallingissa said :
January 8, 2009 at 3:35 PM
Any sense that the Mets might even be considering buying out Castillo?

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