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$36 Million is not Lowe

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According to reports, Derek Lowe could be a Dodger for four years at $36 million as early as today. This would probably conclude the most bizarre Dodger offseason in recent memory (and there have been quite a few contenders). LAist only hopes Paul DePodesta knows what he's doing.LAist confesses that its always been a Derek Lowe fan. The guy has great stuff, and rose to the occasion in the postseason this year for the Red Sox. But $36 million for Lowe seems excessive for a guy who has basically had one good year as a starter. So why are the Dodgers guaranteeing him four years?

We don't get it. This seems very un-Moneyball. Especially coming in an offseason where the Dodgers have tried so hard to reduce expenses. With dozens of quality starting pitchers on the market this offseason, the Dodgers seemingly passed on all of them because the price was out of whack. While that was frustrating it was also understandable that DePodesta didn't want the Dodgers saddled with another big hurtful contract (see: Darren Dreifort, Todd Hundely, Carlos Perez, Kevin Brown, Shawn Green, and so many more!) Yet LA put up an extraordinary amount of money for perhaps the most enigmatic pitcher on the market.

This coming after the team seemed desperate to save a mere $6 million of Shawn Green's contract this year. We thought that money was exclusively for Odalis Perez, so where is McCourt's extra $9 million a year coming from? Green is now in Arizona and the Dodgers will count the days until Dioner Navarro is ready to take over a nothing catcher situation.

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So next year's Dodger team comes onto the field with more questions than it probably needs to. A rotation of Lowe, Perez, Brad Penny, Jeff Weaver, and Edwin Jackson, Kaz Ishii, Wilson Alvarez, or Elmer Dessens sounds much better on paper than some initial rotation ideas LAist feared. But is Brad Penny healthy? Does Weaver have his head screwed on straight? Will we see the Derek Lowe who had a 5+ ERA this year and couldn't handle the Boston media, or will we see the Derek Lowe who looked like and ace in the postseason? Will Perez put last season's awful postseason starts behind him? Is Edwin Jackson ready? If he is, then what do you do with Ishii? If he isn't then is Ishii consistent enough to start?

And in the field, is Milton Bradley going to implode again? Can JD Drew be 100% all season? Will Jayson Werth recover from surgery? Can Hee Seop Choi finally become a solid reliable everyday player? How much will Jeff Kent's deteriorating defensive skills hurt the infield, can he hit at Dodger Stadium, and just when will he be too old? Can Cesar Izturis repeat his offensive success? Will Jose Valentin hit better than say, .240, and find a way to hit for power in Chavez Ravine? And are we really serious about repeating the David Ross/Brent Mayne catcher platoon which hit like garbage last year?

So many questions, so few answers right now. At least LAist thinks the bullpen is good.