Derek Lowe

The free agent pitching market is really split into two tiers.  There is the Sabathia tier and then everyone else.  You can make cases for Sheets, Burnett, Oliver Perez, etc., but when you boil it down there are questions about all of them.  Considering that those guys will probably get at minimum Carl Pavano type deals, someone like Derek Lowe might make some sense. 

Lowe has pitched in the AL East and his numbers the past few years look good.  Plus, he won’t require the same type of deal Sheets or Burnett would.  Lowe has pitched 200 innnings in each of the last four years (ok 199.3 in 2007) and is a sinkerballer which minimizes the damages when he gets hit.

But, a deeper look at the numbers and there are some red flags.  First, his ERA at Dodger Stadium was much better than his ERA on the road (Dodger Stadium is a pitcher’s park)  Plus his strikeout rates went way up in LA from his last years in Boston.  That isn’t normal and perhaps more a factor of facing NL batters than anything else.  Throw in a report that he doesn’t want to play in New York and the fact that he has an agent named Boras, and it isn’t a move I would make.  

The key for the Yankees will be avoiding making a mistake on the free agent pitching market.  Assuming you get Sabathia that puts him, Wang and Joba in the rotation.  I still bring back Andy Pettitte and I let Phil Hughes take the last spot.  Look at all the young pitchers in the World Series right now.  Except for really Hamels, it took awhile for them to establish themselves.  If the Yankees truly believe in Hughes, they owe him a shot.