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Posted: Tuesday January 13, 2009 1:52AM; Updated: Tuesday January 13, 2009 1:52AM

Lowe-Braves talks getting serious

Story Highlights

Free-agent right-hander Derek Lowe is in serious discussions with the Braves

Atlanta is believed to have offered him close to $60 million over four years

Lowe, 35, went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA in 2008, his four season with the Dodgers

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Derek Lowe went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA with the Dodgers last season.
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By Jon Heyman, SI.com

Free-agent right-hander Derek Lowe is in serious discussions with the Atlanta Braves, SI.com has learned.

The Braves are trying hard to finalize a deal that would solidify their rotation. The deal for Lowe is believed to be for close to $60 million over four years. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the Braves were offering about $15 million per year in their efforts to beat the rival New York Mets to Lowe.

Lowe, who blossomed several years ago with the Boston Red Sox, is hoping to come back east after four successful yet unfulfilling seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lowe also is believed to prefer the National League.

Lowe, who went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA with the Dodgers last year and is 126-107 for his career, would salvage the Braves' offseason after they tried hard but failed to land star right-handers Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnett and shortstop Rafael Furcal.

The Mets, who have offered Lowe $36 million over three years, recently started talking dollars with free agent Oliver Perez as they may sense their chances of landing Lowe diminishing.

The Mets are proposing a three-year deal for close to $30 million for Perez, although, a four-year deal for Lowe, who at 35 is eight years Perez's senior, may convince them they need to give him another year. Mets general manager Omar Minaya has preferred Perez all along, but other members of their front office like Lowe.

The Mets aren't certain what other teams may be bidding on Perez. Should they fail to sign Perez, they are expected to turn to left-hander Randy Wolf. Pedro Martinez looks less likely now that the Mets have signed Tim Redding, who's likely to fill the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

 
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