Phillies make play for veteran Lowe
With Moyer talks hitting snag, club reportedly makes offer to righty
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Oh, sure they have. I’ll believe it when I see it guys. Preferably in a local paper.
PHILADELPHIA — With negotiations dragging with veteran lefty Jamie Moyer, the Phillies have turned their attention to other possibilities, including some of the bigger free-agent fish.
Derek Lowe’s name surfaced in a Boston Globe report, which indicated the Phillies have made an offer to the right-hander, who is represented by Scott Boras. Citing a source familiar with the club’s intentions, the report said that the Phillies have discussed the matter “pretty extensively.”
The newspaper reported another unidentified team — not the Yankees or the Red Sox, though both teams are expected to meet with Boras this week — has also submitted an offer.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn’t confirm or deny that an offer had been made, but said, “I will tell you that I’ve talked to Derek Lowe’s representatives. He’s not the only free agent that we’ve had discussions with. There have been plenty of them.”
The Phillies have also spoken with Darek Braunecker, the agent for A.J. Burnett, though it seems unlikely they’ll meet Burnett’s request for a five-year deal, though Amaro didn’t rule that out.
Philadelphia’s interest in broadening its horizons beyond Moyer has been spurred by a snag in talks with the 46-year-old, who earned $8.5 million in 2008 — $5.5 million in base salary and another $3 million in incentives. The lefty went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 196 1/3 innings in the regular season, and he won Game 3 of the World Series.
Despite his age, Moyer is an attractive middle-of-the-rotation name in a market that includes fellow southpaws Oliver Perez, Andy Pettitte, Randy Wolf and Randy Johnson.
Lowe, 35, would command more dollars than Moyer, prompting some creative contract structuring — and may shift the focus toward a more fiscally responsible replacement for free-agent left fielder Pat Burrell.
The Phillies also must prepare for 10 potential arbitration cases, all of which will result in salary increases, and that could limit the team’s spending. Philadelphia didn’t offer salary arbitration to Moyer, preferring to remaining flexible in its offseason spending, so the club will not receive two Draft picks should Moyer land elsewhere as a free agent.
The Phillies would lose one if they signed Lowe or Burnett. Moyer remains the priority.
“We haven’t put any deadlines on [Moyer making a decision],” Amaro said. “He clearly wants to pitch beyond . The challenge is to try and to add pitching. With or without Jamie, we’ll try to do it.”
As for Burrell, Amaro declined to say that his time in Philadelphia has ended, despite the belief that the team has little interest in bringing him back.
“I couldn’t really put a percentage on it,” Amaro said. “We haven’t had a whole lot of substantive discussions, but that doesn’t preclude us from bringing him back. This is a slow-moving process.” (H/T Phillies.com)
My take, I think this is all just a ploy on the Phillies part to get Moyer back to the negotiating table. I mean, remember who’s Lowe’s agent is, Scott Boras. I do not trust that guy, and not just because of the J.D. Drew fiasco. This guy just yells slime to me. If the Phillies have made an offer to Lowe, I’m sure Boras is going to have him asking the Phils for a lot more than they can afford to give out. Hey, Junior, get off your lazy butt, talk with Moyer, quit being cheap and seal the blasted deal already. Sheesh!!! Oh, and if you are going for Lowe, Junior, you better freaking deliver, dude!!!