Plan B Just Got Expensive For the Mets
The Mets, who held firm on their three-year, $36 million offer to him, must have known that Lowe was headed to the Braves. They were losing their grip on him, so they tried to turn the market in their favor by offering Perez three years at $30 million, hoping he would bite quickly.
But now that Perez stands front and center as the top free-agent starter available, the Mets aren't getting away that cheaply. Nor are they likely to get away with a three-year deal now that Lowe got his four years.
The one thing in the Mets' favor is that the Perez rumors have been completely quiet in terms of other teams. But for the Mets to assume that they're bidding against themselves for Perez would be asinine. They thought they were bidding against themselves for Lowe when they offered him $36 million, and it only gave other teams an opportunity to gather up some money feeling they had a chance to step in. (And, really, the Mets should have known that the Braves, who had a boatload of money earmarked for A.J. Burnett and Rafael Furcal, would spend it on somebody.)
They called Boras' bluff (or what they thought was a bluff), and let him look elsewhere instead of doing everything they could to get Lowe, a mistake for a team with holes in the starting rotation. They basically drove Lowe, a guy who had said that he preferred to pitch in the Northeast, down South and into the arms of the Braves. (Though to be real, if a Scott Boras client got top dollar from Siberia, that's where he'd pitch.)
And I'm sure that if the Mets try to pull the same "take it or leave it" stance on Perez, a team like the Brewers might consider getting some money together and making a more attractive offer to him. So now that they've refused to spend the money on Lowe, they're forced to either overspend on Perez, or look at options like Randy Wolf and Jon Garland, or perhaps hope that Ben Sheets' injuries are behind him, and keep their fingers crossed. If that's the case, that improved bullpen the Mets have might lose its impact this season. And if that's the case, the Mets will have spent responsibly but not necessarily wisely.