The Mets have had two things on their agenda this offseason. One of them is acquiring one more rotation arm on a one-year contract.
Right now, the Mets starting rotation looks something like this: Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey, and Dillon Gee. The Mets’ goal is to get one more short-term pitcher until they can bring up pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.
I’m not a big fan of Pavano, but he can serve as a stopgap for 2012. I can see the Mets grabbing him on a one-year deal. The problem is that Pavano, 37, had a bad year in a pitcher’s park. He went 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts for the Twins last year. Pavano also missed some time with a shoulder injury. Pavano’s best season was eight years ago when he went 8-0 with the Marlins (ERA – 3.00 / WHIP – 1.17 SO – 139 / BB – 49 / IP – 222.1 / WAR – 5.1). He’s averaged a 4.92 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 106.3 IP and 0.8 WAR per season with the Yankees, Indians and Twins since then. Maybe playing in the National League will get him back on track, but for one year, the Mets don’t have to gamble on whether or not he will.
Lowe is someone that I don’t expect to be brought back to the Yankees. He can be a possible interim arm for the Mets. He’s a groundball pitcher that experienced flashes of success last year with the Yankees and Indians. Lowe has played a lot of postseason baseball (26 appearances to Pavano’s 10). If anything he’d be a veteran that can help out a young Mets staff. He’s a durable pitcher that’s averaged 166.1 IP his entire 15-year career. At 39 years old, I can see the Mets bringing in Lowe at a low price and one year. That’s just the kind of situation the Mets are looking for.
I like Lowe over Pavano. The Mets can get more out of Lowe. He’s a low-risk sign. Both are for one year, but I think Lowe has a better chance of outlasting Pavano in 2013. Lowe has also seen more of the current NL East players than Pavano has (583 AB vs. 241 AB). The stats against them are similar, but here they are in that sample size:
Pavano – .320 BA / .343 OBP / .415 SLG / .759 OPS
Lowe – .298 BA / .336 OBP / .455 SLG / .785 OPS
Who do you think would be a better fit for the Mets?