Jan 13

Braves get Lowe. What’s next?

Sixty million over four years got it done for Derek Lowe with the Braves. The Mets were a year and $24 million short. Oliver Perez, who should feel unwanted right about now, wants four years and the Mets are at three.

Ben Sheets is still out there, injured arm and all. So are Pedro Martinez and Randy Wolf. Whatever the signing, it has been a disappointing winter for the Mets regarding their starting pitching.

The Mets entered the offseason wanting to address their bullpen, but that includes getting starters capable of eating innings. It is not unfair to attach questions to four of the five starters after Johan Santana.

Mike Pelfrey: Will he continue to progress or hit a wall, which often happens in a pitcher’s development.

John Maine: Coming off surgery.

Tim Redding: A .500 pitcher last year with a lifetime losing record. OK, for a fifth starter, but the expectations could rise.

Fifth starter: To be determined. Jon Niese will compete. Bringing back Martinez might have to be the plan.

Jan 13

Ouch!

If GM Omar Minaya isn’t confident, then there’s no reason for you to be.

Minaya placed the odds at “50-50” the Mets will add a bigger-named pitcher than Tim Redding, saying, “you’re never too confident.”

Here’s why.

With reports of the Braves having a $60 million package on the table for Derek Lowe, and Oliver Perez wanting four years while the Mets prefer three, they could be forced to fall back on Randy Wolf and Pedro Martinez.

I like Redding as a fifth starter, but if all this pans out, he could end up fourth which leaves the Mets vulnerable in the back end of the rotation.

All that work fixing the bullpen could be wasted if twice a week the Mets aren’t going deep into the game with their starter.

Jan 12

Mets reach agreement with Redding ….

REDDING: Deal in place for fifth starter.

REDDING: Deal in place for fifth starter.

The Mets have a deal in principle (one year, $2.25 million) with Tim Redding. The signing will be announced pending a physical, perhaps today or tomorrow. Redding, 30, was 10-11 with a 4.95 ERA last season with Washington.

He’ll be slotted in as the fifth starter, but would move up to fourth if the Mets aren’t able to sign either Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez. He didn’t have a great record, but the Mets figure it should improve with their offense.

The signing gives the Mets depth in the rotation and allows another year of development for Jon Niese and Robert Parnell.

The Mets aren’t done as they figure to come away with either Lowe or Perez to round out their rotation.

They are also talking with infielder Alex Cora.

Jan 09

Have the Mets blown it with Lowe?

LOWE: Is he heading south?

LOWE: Is he heading south?

Reports have John Smoltz going to the Red Sox and Atlanta replacing him with Derek Lowe. Have the Mets misplayed this? Should they have been more proactive with Lowe and given in to the big-bucks demands? Do you think they’ve blown it with Lowe and now have to settle for Oliver Perez?

If that’s the case, can’t you just see them bringing back Pedro Martinez and having the same rotation as last season?

Jan 09

Mets playing the game; make offer to Redding

REDDING

REDDING: Mets

While the Mets posture for Derek Lowe and/or Oliver Perez for their fourth starter, they have made an offer to the Washington Nationals’ Tim Redding.

GM Omar Minaya has always believed in the numbers philosophy; that a team can’t have too much pitching: “We’d like to have six, seven starters in camp.”

Redding is 30, and was 10-11 with a 4.95 ERA in 33 starts for the Nationals this past season. Around .500 is the norm for a fifth starter, and the assumption has to be it would improve with the Mets’ offense and bullpen superior to that of the Nationals.

This doesn’t mean the Mets still aren’t interested in Lowe/Perez, but it’s a sign they don’t want to get caught short.