Mets deep in negotiations for Derek Lowe

Mark Teixeira's agreement with the New York Yankees on Tuesday clears the way for the New York Mets to sign Derek Lowe, the free-agent pitcher who had been on the periphery of the Yankees' shopping list. The Mets and Lowe are deep in negotiations, according to a source, and while an offer has not yet been made, the 35-year-old sinkerballer is the Mets' prime target.

The Mets have rebuilt their bullpen with the signing of free-agent closers Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz, but general manager Omar Minaya is still in the market for starting pitching to supplement incumbents Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine.

The Boston Red Sox had mild interest in Lowe, and losing out on Teixeira might prompt them to strongly consider bringing back Lowe for a second tour of duty in Boston. But indications from Red Sox sources point to less costly options than Lowe, who originally sought a five-year, $90 million deal but has scaled back his demands in recent weeks.

The Mets' bargaining position also is enhanced by the fact that rehab coordinator Chris Correnti, who was brought on board to work with the Pedro Martinez, has trained Lowe for the last 11 years.