Mets look to strengthen rotation

Updated: January 6, 2009, 9:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Still looking to fill out the rotation, the New York Mets are ready to make their push for a proven starting pitcher.

A source tells ESPN 1050 Radio's Andrew Marchand that while in New York, Scott Boras will hold a face-to-face meeting with Mets executives to discuss Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez. Boras is in New York as part of the Yankees' Mark Teixeira press conference. The Mets have reportedly offered Lowe a three-year, $36 million contract. Boras is seeking money in the A.J. Burnett, five-year, $83 million-range for Lowe.

"In my discussions with teams, I don't really talk about offers that I have received and not received," Boras said at Yankee Stadium. "I read about these things, but I don't really acknowledge them."

Lowe and Perez aren't the only free-agent starters that interest the Mets. New York extended an offer to Tim Redding and is close to making an offer to Randy Wolf, according to a person familiar with the talks.

Coming off their second consecutive September collapse, the Mets revamped their woeful bullpen at the winter meetings last month by signing closer Francisco Rodriguez to a $37 million, three-year contract and acquiring setup man J.J. Putz in a trade.

Still, the team has openings in a rotation that features Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine. If the Mets land one new starter this offseason, it appears they would go to spring training with young lefty Jon Niese and perhaps Bobby Parnell competing for the No. 5 spot.

A two-time All-Star with Boston in 2000 and 2002, the 35-year-old Lowe has plenty of experience pitching under pressure. He has appeared in 11 postseason series, compiling a 5-5 record with a 3.33 ERA.

The sinkerballer spent the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA in 34 starts covering 211 innings last year.

"I think Derek just wants to go through this process and get his fair market value," Boras said. "And obviously I think there have been some pitchers signed that give us very clear indications as to where he sits in the marketplace, both top and bottom, and those are things I've discussed with the teams."

Often erratic, the 27-year-old Perez was 10-7 with a 4.22 ERA in 34 starts spanning 194 innings for the Mets last season.

Redding, who turns 31 next month, went 10-11 with a 4.95 ERA in 33 starts for Washington, which had the worst record in the major leagues at 59-102. He was the team's only 10-game winner, but the Nationals declined to offer him a 2009 contract.

The right-hander had surgery in November to repair a bone in a joint on his left foot and is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Wolf, 32, was 12-12 with a 4.30 ERA for San Diego and Houston last season. The left-hander made 33 starts and threw 190 1/3 innings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.