By Mike Steffanos
Sorry for not getting a post up for Sunday. The idea is still to try to post every day, but I expect I'll miss a few here and there. I don't think I have a full post in me on any one matter, but here are a few scattered thoughts on a cold winter's evening.
Miscalculation with Derek Lowe?
The news that the Braves might overpay to outbid the Mets for Derek Lowe seems to have gotten under the skin of some Mets fans. I'm on record as favoring the Mets signing Lowe, although I've always liked Ollie Perez, because I believe he takes a little of the pressure off Maine and Pelfrey.
Still, forgive me if find somewhat ludicrous the idea in some fans minds that Atlanta -- desperate for some good publicity in a terrible winter -- overpaying in years and/or money to sign Lowe reflects a mistake on Minaya's part in reading the market.
Sometimes all it takes is one team with an agenda that goes beyond just making the right deal that can push up a player's value beyond what makes sense. What I find somewhat humorous was the conceit in Atlanta for so many years that it was the Mets who had to overpay to lure talent. Remember how the columnists in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution used to snicker about things that went wrong for us? How the mighty have fallen.
I'll tell you what, though, losing out on Lowe really ratchets up the pressure to sign Perez. While it looks right now like the Mets don't have much competition in that regard, no one really saw the Braves making a strong play for Lowe, either.
Okay, a couple of people talked me down a little on the Schneider thing from the other day. In fairness, to believe a guy is tipping pitches somehow would require more complete evidence than presented. Mea culpa.
On the other hand, I still wonder if the numbers -- which, as DD pointed out in the comments, reflected a significant amount of the team's innings -- don't have some significance. Perhaps Schneider falls into patterns with his pitch calling. Maybe the numbers reflect an overagressiveness at times from the catcher. It's still something that I think I'll pay some attention to next season.
Looking at Tim Redding's numbers, a case could be made for still bringing Pedro Martinez back on the right deal.
In 127 career starts, Redding has pitched 665 innings, or an average of 5.2 per start. That certainly isn't any better than you'd get from Pedro at this stage of his career, and the $2.25 million they're paying him wouldn't be completely out of line for a long man in the bullpen.
You can make an argument that you sign Lowe or Ollie, then you bring in Pedro, Redding, Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell along with some other camp invitees and let them all slug it out for the job. I still think signing Pedro is a long shot, but not an impossibility.