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Report: Phillies Still Eyeing Lowe

UPDATE (12:36 a.m.): Just to clarify, the Phillies do want Derek Lowe.

Jayson Stark posted in his blog that the Phils weren’t interested whatsoever in Lowe; Ruben Amaro Jr., however, confirmed interest:

“We’ve talked to Lowe, we’ve talked to his representative. I can’t characterize that discussion and where we stand on it. We like Derek Lowe and we like a variety of pitchers out there. He’s not the only guy we like.”

Now, the Phils may not want Lowe for over three years, but no official word has disputed that. Here’s the bottom line: At this point, the Phils are still very much in the running for Derek Lowe.

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UPDATE (1:14 p.m.): Ken Davidoff of Newsday says the Yankees will likely go after one of Lowe or Burnett.

They are unlikely to sign both Burnett and Lowe, a person familiar with the team’s thinking said. Instead, they would like to sign one of the pair, then convince Andy Pettitte to return at a pay cut from his 2008 salary of $16 million.

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THOUGHTS (12:32 p.m.): If the Yankees want to pay $65M over four seasons for Derek Lowe, they can have him. I wasn’t keen on a big contract for the 36-year-old righty. While Lowe is durable and consistent, he’s not worth four years.

That said, Lowe would fare so much better with the Phillies.

In the National League (yes, even the East), Lowe is worth about a 3.60 ERA. In the American League, his ERA could jump to above 4.00 or more (he had ERAs of 4.47 and 5.42 in his final two seasons in Boston).

Plus, Lowe relies on infield defense. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano are nowhere close to Jimmy Rollins, Pedro Feliz and Chase Utley. The latter three might be the best infield combination in the game. You saw what they did for Jamie Moyer in 2008.

The Yankees would be taking a huge risk with four years of Lowe in the American League. While the Phils would get a better pitcher with that amount, it’s not wise. Maybe the Phils can grab Ben Sheets for two years and $32M. Or maybe it’s back to square one — re-signing Jamie Moyer.

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UPDATE (10:11 a.m.): Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports the Phillies are not likely to sign Lowe:

Besides Sheets, Lowe, a durable right-hander who turns 36 in June, is also in the Yankees’ sights. They have talked with the agent Scott Boras about Lowe, who is also drawing interest from the Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies, though a Phillies official said it was highly unlikely the team would sign him.

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Jon Heyman of SI.com reports the Yankees are very close to singing free agent right-hander Derek Lowe:

The Yankees’ new rotation is starting to take shape as they are also in serious negotiations with free-agent Derek Lowe. An agreement with Lowe appears likely to be finalized in coming days, as well. The sides were discussing a contract for four years and about $66 million late Tuesday.

The Phillies are still involved, according to other sources.

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