The 'Lowe'-down on depot's legacy
How many high-dollar, multi-year free agent pitchers have worked out better than Derek Lowe? DePodesta was near-universally mocked for the dubious $36 million, four-year contract he awarded the Red Sox hurler after he posted a 5.42 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP in '04. Since then, Lowe hasn't missed a start, is currently in line for his third straight 200-inning season, and has posted an ERA+ numbers of 112, 121, and 132 over the past three seasons.
When the Dodgers signed Lowe for $9 million per season, I was shocked. I wanted to make sense of the contract, because I like Paul DePodesta and wanted to see him do well. But I couldn't understand the deal, so I wrote a long, long column in which I tried to understand it. I'm one of my harshest critics, but that column's probably one of the better things I wrote in 2005. Here's how I finished: