Don’t Sleep On (The Humble) Mark Lowe

Even on a day when you sign a contract, you’re overshadowed. Such is the life of a middle reliever with a 100-mph fastball.

The Seattle Mariners avoided arbitration with righthanded pitcher Mark Lowe on Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a one-year, $1.15 million deal.

It just so happened to be the same day the team also reupped with closer David Aardsma (one year, $2.75 million), and reached a preliminary agreement on a five-year contract extension with one Felix Hernandez. So yeah, you might not have noticed that Lowe was returning.

The 26-year-old Texas native made the major league minimum salary in each of his first four seasons in the league. The annual income of $1.15 million for the 2010 season is more than twice what Lowe was making a year ago.

In baseball terms, $1.15 million is nothing. Petty cash, road money to a lot of guys. To Lowe, it’s a king’s ransom. And he’s not even all that bad at what he does. Shoot, you could make the argument that the guy deserves more money.

But oddly enough, Lowe expressed sincere gratitude at the new deal, stating on Geoff Baker’s Seattle Times blog that “the money I’d been making, the major league minimum, was more than enough to get by on.”

He then added that, “the important thing was just to get this done as quickly as possible and get something that was fair for both sides.”

Though some might overlook these comments, you have to appreciate the humility of a guy like Lowe, who just seems to get it.

For most of us, the money he is making is simply unfathomable. Relative to others in his profession, however, Lowe barely registers a blip on the radar.

With statements like these, and a workman-like approach to the game, how can you not root for a guy like Lowe as a fan?

Too often we’re subjected to diva athletes who demand more money every chance they get. In contrast, the Mariners are lucky enough to have a guy like Mark Lowe who is simply thrilled just to be playing the game he loves.

Once upon a time I ran into Lowe at the mall. I watched him walk in unnoticed, then walk out unnoticed. No one so much as turned an eye towards this guy. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, he blended in perfectly with the crowd.

And perhaps that is what’s most to like about Lowe: he blends in, he’s one of us.

So if you’re looking for a player to support on this new-look M’s squad, why not take a chance on Mark Lowe. He’s pretty darn good at his job, and on top of that he won’t let you down off the field, either. Two things you have to like.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Sleep On (The Humble) Mark Lowe”

  1. Good article, Mark Lowe is a great guy with an absolute rocket arm… Glad to hear he is coming back!

  2. Hey are the Mariners going to sign Ben Sheets or what? We need to be aggressive to get this team over the hump. He’d be real nice as a #3…

  3. Sheets sounds like a great idea, but he’s basically the righthanded version of Erik Bedard (minus the personality issues). He was good, and I stress was because he hasn’t pitched in two years. He would come on the cheap, but for what appears to be a playoff-bound team, he would be tough to rely on. In all likelihood, the team will need to find another righty to balance out the rotation, and Sheets could very well get the opportunity to be that guy. I’d imagine a very heavy incentive-laden contract in that scenario.

    As for Washburn, he’s a decent fit but he does kind of throw off the balance of the rotation were he to be signed. He’s a low-90s lefty, not unlike Cliff Lee and Ryan Rowland-Smith, and you have to wonder how the idea of three similar lefties would pan out if they were to pitch two games in a three-game set, or three in a four-gamer. My thinking is that the M’s addressed the need for that lefthander with the acquisition of Cliff Lee. That may just close the door on Washburn.

    Damon doesn’t fit with the M’s in any way. He doesn’t play good defense, he’d be another slap hitter in a lineup already full of slap hitters, and he’d be too costly simply because of his name. No way on earth he ends up in a Mariners’ uniform.

  4. Yeah haha I agree Damon was a ridiculous statement, but I really hope we go after Sheets. Even further, I think we should take a look at some of the free agent 1B(i.e. Garko, Delgado) to serve as platoon for Kotchman…and also a power hitting pinch-hitter/DH. Can we rely on Kotchman, Carp and that other AAA guy we signed at a power # position? Big question mark

  5. Agreed on all fronts. The team still has $10 million to spend this year. Sheets would maybe cost $1-2 mil. That still leaves you with significant money to pay for a big bat, or even acquire a bat through trade.

    Of course, there’s also a good chance the team stands pat and preys on the weak at the trade deadline. That’s been the most prominent rumor cropping up recently and it makes a lot of sense. I mean, would you rather have a guy like Delgado right now, or pick up Adrian Gonzalez in July for what amounts to the same cost (when you factor in the pro-ration of the contract)?

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