The Mets and free-agent pitcher Derek Lowe are said to remain far apart in negotiations after Lowe's agent, Scott Boras, met with Mets owner Jeff Wilpon, GM Omar Minaya and an assistant GM John Ricco Wednesday.
Boras is meeting with Braves brass today, according to the Boston Globe, and unlike in the Mets' meeting, Lowe is expected to attend. One difference could be that the Mets were talking about two of Boras' clients, young left-hander Oliver Perez being the other one.
The Braves could emerge as a big threat to the Mets, as Atlanta saved its money after offering A.J. Burnett a deal for about $15-to-16 million a year but losing out to the Yankees, who signed Burnett for $82.5 million over five years.
If another Boras client, Manny Ramirez, was mentioned at the meeting at all, it was only briefly. The Mets announced they were talking about Boras' two pitchers.
The Red Sox's signing of John Smoltz could be an indication they are not in the mix for Lowe, but the Angels, Phillies and Brewers potentially are seen as players for Lowe, who is the Mets' top target.
The Mets' initial offer to Lowe reportedly was for $36 million over three years, and Lowe responded by requesting an annual salary of $16 million. It isn't known whether the Mets raised that bid, but club officials have been talking about a reluctance to bid against themselves. If they had to, the Mets are believed willing to get to $40 million, or perhaps a little bit higher.
Perez is the Mets' second choice. They are hoping to land one of the two pitchers, but if they don't, they will turn to veteran left-hander Randy Wolf.
The Mets have pursued Tim Redding and Freddy Garcia for another starting slot, and are still keeping an eye on Pedro Martinez.