Friday, November 16, 2007

Mike Lowell

We`ve heard a lot about a potential 4 year, 60 million dollar deal for Mike Lowell to play first. Previously, I was completely against it but I`ve been told by a few Boston fans he was never offered arbitration and if the Yankees signed him they wouldn't lose draft picks.

Lowell was originally a Yankees prospect and was supposed to be the guy to replace Scott Brocius but was traded away to the Marlins in 1999 after Brocius' great 1998. He had some very nice seasons with them and posted EQA's above .270 in every full year he played except one while playing very good defense. That one year was 2005 when he had a .240 EQA and a WARP3 of 4.5. After the 2005 season the Marlins went on a fire-sale. Lowell had a large contract and in order to get Josh Beckett the Red Sox had to take on his salary. In 2006 he returned to his career norms with a .277 EQA and more excellent defense. Last year he had a career year though. He had a .302 EQA and a 10.1 WARP3.

One of the biggest knocks on him is that he was nothing before moving to Boston where he took advantage of Fenway. This is entirely based on his one bad, 2005, season. He`s had an excellent career playing with very good offense and great defense. Though his home/road splits are a cause for concern, 2005 is not representative of his actual ability.

I could easily see him repeating 2006 for the Yankees in 2008 but what will he be doing 4 years from now in 2011 for 15 million dollars? A lot of his value comes from his playing a great defensive third base as well. I`m sure he`d be an excellent defensive first baseman to but compared to other first baseman's offensive numbers his numbers aren't really that great. First base defense doesn't affect the game as much as third base defense either.

I`m torn on this but I`m leaning towards no. Its to many years . Just try out a Duncan and Miranda plattoon at first with Giambi pinch-hitting when necesary. Stay away from the multi-year contracts for aging veterans.

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