By Mike Steffanos
The whole Derek Lowe saga is taking on some of the aspects of the Santana pursuit from last year. Everything you read on the subject seems to contradict what you have just previously read.
You can't help but ask yourself at this point what might happen if Lowe signs somewhere else. Say what you want about Ollie Perez, but he's the only other starting pitcher in this free agent class who is relatively healthy and is more than just bottom of the rotation material.
If Lowe is gone, perhaps the action heats up for Perez to a point where the Mets don't want to go. I don't believe this is very likely, but it's far from impossible. If that happens, I don't think there is any question that the starting rotation would be a huge concern for the Mets heading into the season.
There was a time when Randy Wolf was a heck of a pitcher, but there was also a time when mullets were cool. Neither statement is true today.
If the Mets sign Wolf, the pressure will be on Mike Pelfrey and John Maine to deliver. In an ideal world, you'd like both of those young pitchers to have some breathing room.
Perhaps this makes the Mets consider the talented but fragile Ben Sheets. I thought Sheets might have been the best pitcher in the NL back in 2004, but the problem is that he hasn't been really healthy since.
With 198 innings last season, you would think interest would be there among many teams, but Sheets has had nagging elbow and shoulder problems. Those 198 innings mark his first time over 156 innings since that 2004 campaign. He'll be 30 next July, and you wonder if he's not going to be another of those guys who burn bright for a short time and then disappear.
The same questions that have most teams shying away from him make Sheets a possible bargain pickup with a relatively short and incentive-laden contract. Given the Mets recently history with talented pitchers who can't stay healthy, however, you wonder if they really want to go down that road again. It's an interesting question for which I hope we never get an answer.