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O Brother

Over the last couple of years, baseball has become maddening with the amount of money that is being given to free agents.  We're now living in an era where the top players in the league are starting to make between $25-30 million per season.  The unfortunate part of this top tier (besides the fact that the Yankees are paying all these contracts and ruining baseball) is that it bumps up the value of all the sub-par players as well, which leaves you shaking your head at some of these signings.

The most glaring example of this could be last year's signing of Carlos Silva by the Mariners.  Four years and $48 million set the bar for average pitchers to make far more than they are worth.  The ramifications of this contract for Carlos could define him as an absolute bust.  He ballooned to weigh almost 250 lbs, only won 4 games, and sported a hefty 6.46 ERA.  But the ramifications this contract had on this year's free agent pitchers are probably leaving Omar Minaya shaking his head.

It's been reported that Omar will sit down soon with Dr. Evil (Scott Boras) to discuss both Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez.  I lobbied in this column last week for the Mets to go out and sign Derek Lowe because he's proven his worth over his career.  I was on the same wavelength as the Mets and wanted $12 million per year, but it turns out Lowe is laughing at this offer.  Why, you ask?  Because Carlos Silva is making $12 million a year and Lowe thinks he's worth far more than this.  And he's absolutely right.  The bar was set too high last year, which means Boras is going to demand $16 million for Lowe and probably $14 million for Perez.  Since I wrote about Lowe last week, and think the Mets should only go as high as $15 million a year for his services, I'll focus more on the absurdity of paying Ollie $14 million a year.

Here are the pros for Ollie:  He knows the Mets system, he's used to the New York market, he steps it up for big games, he completely shut down the Phillies last year, he's a lefthander that can rack up strikeouts.  All great selling points, but he has one major flaw - each game he steps on that mound you have no idea what kind of a performance you're getting.  He can give you 1.2 innings with 5 walks and 4 hits, or he can give you 8 innings with 10 strikeouts.  He's a complete wildcard.  Looking at his stats from last year (10 wins, 4.22 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 105 walks), I can't for the life of me fathom giving him $14 million a year.

Who knows if there are bidders out there willing to give Perez this money.  When he's focused on the mound, I love his fire and passion.  But right now he's a $10 million per year pitcher that needs to prove he can be the stud that we all see every now and then.  The Mets took a chance on him and revitalized his career.  If he signed for $10 million and 4 years, I would love for him to stay in the orange and blue.  But I have a feeling that if Boras presents Omar with a $14 million price tag, Omar will simply shake his head.  If he gets it from some other team, I know that will be my first reaction.  Thanks Carlos Silva.

Mets Blog Writer:  Jeff Bertinetti


  1. I completely concur...the Mets are the only team that has seen the real Ollie perez, the numbers in this case DO lie. other teams don't realize how Jekyll and Hyde he can be. He comes through often in big games, but when he blew that lead against the cubs last year, i said "seeya Ollie" that was the biggest game if the year for him and he sucked it up...give me wolf, redding, garland, lowe, pettite. I like Ollie, but there is a reason we got him so easy...he is so unpredictable.

  2. Lowe and Perez will not get the money they are looking for. Dr. Evil knows that only 3-4 teams will actually open up their check books this offseason. Mets are not one of them and proved it with K-Rod. Madoff unfortunately Made-Off with Wilpons money. Take those teams out of the mix (if they will stop negotiating against themselves) and you'll see salaries start to level off.