The New York Yankees have signed former Cleveland Indians' pitcher Derek Lowe and he has agreed to pitch out of the bullpen, a role Lowe has not assumed since 2001 with the Boston Red Sox. The move will not be made official until Monday according to MLB.com
The Cleveland Indians released Lowe on August 10 after designating him for assignment 10 days prior due to poor performance.
Lowe posted an 8-10 record with a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts with the Indians this season. Cleveland acquired Lowe on October 31, 2011 via trade from the Atlanta Braves for minor leaguer Chris Jones. He is under contract to make $15 million this season but the Braves picked up $10 million of that tab with Cleveland picking up the other $5 million. The Yankees get a true bargain, as they are only responsible for a pro-rated portion of the league minimum salary. Cleveland is on the hook for the remainder of their commitment, as is Atlanta.
Lowe started the 2012 campaign strong but fell apart in his final 13 starts posting 2-9 record paired with an 8.28 ERA in that time period. The Indians felt they had no other choice than to let him go. Oddly enough he was leading the team in wins at the time he was dismissed. Ubaldo Jimenez has since assumed the position leading the club with nine on the season.
Perhaps the change of scenery and the opportunity to play for a playoff caliber team will help him to turn his season around. If nothing else the Yankees picked up a veteran pitcher who has experienced great success in his career for pennies, while both the Braves and Indians pay him not to pitch for them.
As an Indians fan I wish Lowe personal success with New York. While he certainly had his struggles in Cleveland, it seemed he always gave his all on the mound. I'll definitely remember his complete-game shutout against the Minnesota Twins back on May 15 when he improved to 6-1 on the year. Unfortunately the meltdown occurred after that point. Some of his outings got ugly which in turn led to his dismissal from the team.
More Cleveland Indians Commentary from Paul Rados:
All statistics provided by MLB.com