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 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 08

Mets talking with Boras ….

BORAS: Talks with Mets.

BORAS: Talks with Mets.

Scott Boras was in town the other day. Had a tour of Citi Field. Spoke with the Mets about Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez. Manny Ramirez, it appears, was not one of the topics. Meanwhile, reports out of Boston and Atlanta have the Braves making a push for Lowe.

The mystery team?

Perhaps. Of course, I would have given the no-trade to Jake Peavy if I were the Braves. The Mets were never in the talks with San Diego about Peavy.

If the Mets to get Lowe, I think they’ll have to give up more money per year than give the extra years. That’s the way to go. Besides, they can also make up extra years by adding options.

Jan 05

Make a run at Wolf

They will need two starters anyway, so why don’t the Mets make a hard run at their third choice, which is Randy Wolf? With Scott Boras clients Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez at one-two, there’s no guarantee anything will happen any time soon.

And, it’s starting to smell like the line for Lowe could be one of Boras’ mystery teams. If the Mets show a willingness to move on, Lowe and/or Perez could come back to them. In the interim, in Wolf they could get a pitcher they would use.

Meanwhile, word is the Rays are close to signing Pat Burrell. Yeah, a DH, type, but his glove isn;t completely made of cement. I’ve maintained pitching is the Mets’ priority, but also said if they are going to get a bat, Burrell would be perfect to slot into left field. I look at not making a pitch for Burrell to be a wasted opportunity.