When I checked on the starer market two weeks ago, I saw three distinct tiers of pitchers. Although I didn't explicitly rank them at the time, I will now, since none have signed.
1. Derek Lowe (Risk: Low Skills: Great)
2. Ben Sheets (Risk: Medium Skills: Great).
3. Kenshin Kawakami (Risk: High Skills: Very Good)
4. Oliver Perez (Risk: Medium Skills: Good)
5. Jon Garland (Risk: Low Skills: Average)
6. Pedro Martinez (Risk: Very High Skills: Good)
7. Braden Looper (Risk: Low Skills: Average)
8. Koji Uehara (Risk: Very High Skills: Good)
9. Randy Wolf (Risk: Low Skills: Poor)
10. Tim Redding (Risk: Low Skills: Poor)
Fully recognizing the Mets aren't the most analytical organization out there, I assumed they agreed with this general outline. Their initial offer to Lowe encouraged this thought. They had picked their main target and were going fill in the pieces later. It all made sense. Then I read this blurb (emphasis mine):
Free-agent right-hander Derek Lowe is not the Mets' unanimous No. 1 choice among the remaining free-agent starting pitchers.
Oliver Perez, 27, is left-handed, eight years younger than Lowe and accustomed to pitching in New York. He also got married in mid-December, a sign of his growing maturity.
What? Besides the obvious absurdity of that statement, when has Perez's maturity ever been an issue? You know who else is left-handed, accustomed to pitching in New York, and younger than Derek Lowe? Scott Schoeneweis.