When the Cleveland Indians designated pitcher Derek Lowe for assignment on Wednesday, I regarded the news with almost no reaction. There was no obvious connection to the Cubs – what use to they have for a 39-year-old, poorly-performing starting pitcher? I didn’t think much about it.

But then Gordon Wittenmyer tweeted this:

Facing post-deadline depth issues, Cubs looking into DFA’d pitcher Derek Lowe.

I mean, sure, the Cubs do have some serious starting pitching depth issues. But what’s the upside in grabbing Lowe? An added win or two this year? How much value does that really have?

Isn’t it more valuable to get a full and complete picture of what you have in guys like Justin Germano and Chris Volstad? Maybe they’ll end up getting blasted as starters for the rest of this year, but, when the offseason rolls around, don’t you want to have complete confidence that you don’t want to keep them? Doesn’t letting them show what they can do make that decision easier and more informed?

Or maybe the Cubs should want to look at a fringe AAA starter or two in these final months. Chris Rusin? Brooks Raley?

How would giving Lowe starts help the Cubs for 2013 and beyond?

I suppose there’s a tiny chance that it improves the likelihood he would, for example, sign a cheapo contract with the Cubs in 2013, but, again, is there a lot of upside there? He’s in serious decline (that happens to 39-year-olds), and hasn’t had a 100 ERA+ season since 2008. There’s very little reason to believe he suddenly turns that around next year, in his age 40 season.

And, given his relationship with the guys in the front office, might he sign a cheapo deal with the Cubs in the offseason anyway?

Ultimately, this isn’t a huge story. The Cubs, as we’ve learned, will explore just about every available option, so the fact that they’re looking at Lowe doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot of anything.

Even your worst case scenario here isn’t all that terrible – the Cubs pick him up, he sucks, and the Cubs lose the opportunity to give a couple more starts to, for example, Volstad. Shrug.

The medium case scenario has Lowe serving as pure depth, and starting only when the Cubs absolutely need a starter. The best case scenario is he shows up, pitches well, and the Cubs finagle a cheap contract for a guy who proves to be an adequate fifth starter in 2013.


  • magilljl

    I would have rather seen Rusin/Raley up than Volstad. I think we pretty much know what we have in Volstad…

    • Northside Matt

      Longtime BN lurker, first time commenter.

      I agree that we know what we have in Volstad. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him non-tendered in the off-season. Wouldn’t mind seeing some of the other kids in the rotation.

      I think Brett called it in the post. If they sign Lowe, it’s seems like it becomes a tryout for 2013. See what he has and if he’s ok, sign him to a cheap one-year deal. He and Wood become the back end of the rotation. It may not be the best idea in the world, but it’s not the worst either. The 2013 rotation right now doesn’t look pretty. We’re looking at Samardzija, Wood, TBA, TBA, and yep, that’s right, TBA.

      • Bric

        The Volstad act (the one than started prohibition) lasted almost 10 years before it was repealed. With Rusin, Raley, maybe Lowe, it seems the Cub’s Volstad act hasn’t even lasted 1 year. Should we drink to that?

        • beerhelps

          yes we should

          • magilljl


    • bluekoolaidaholic

      I disagree, what we know about Volstadt is that he is inconsistent. He has moments of brilliance and then moments of sheer disaster. I think that the upside is worth working with him and letting the big league level pitching coach (Bosio) earn his pay. I would love it if we still had access to Greg Maddux, I think he would be able to figure out what is the problem with Chris.I have no problem with bringing him up in this lost season and working out his problems on this level.

      • magilljl

        I am totally out on Volstad as a starter. As a “reclamation project” there really isn’t all that much to reclaim.

  • Deer

    ugh..even if he pitches well, I don’t trust him for 2013, I’d pass.

  • EQ76

    maybe it’s just an insurance and depth move.. i mean, can we really sit through a Casey Coleman or Volstad start every 5th day?

    • Spriggs

      If we could endure 50+ starts from Casey Coleman, Doug Davis, Ramon Ortiz, and Rodrigo Lopez in 2011, I think we can endure anything.

      • CubFan Paul


        • EQ76

          ahhhhhh!!!! now i’m having flashbacks!!!

  • King Jeff

    I think we’ve seen enough to know what Volstad has to offer this year, although in a lost year, it would probably be better to see if he can work it out over adding a guy like Lowe.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s pretty much where I am, too.

    • hansman1982

      Ya, I just think so much of his struggles are in the mind. It seems that he is expecting the big inning and if he allows a baserunner or two he immediately goes into, “Well, lets see how bad it is going to be this time” mode.

      Hopefully, that great start the other day helped him remember that he is a good pitcher. Maybe they need him to do something that distracts him between innings or put something in his cap that he can look at to reinforce his confidence.

      • Smitty

        I agree with your thinking Hansman, I also am inclined to think that we should see if he can be a quality relief guy where he only needs to focus on one inning of work and not stress long term.

    • Frank


  • notcubbiewubbie

    good point brett but remember you still have fans who complain thaat the cubs aren’t winning enough games. i agree with you winning at this point really doesn’t matter.

  • mak

    Brett, I think you glossed over the reason to sign/acquire him: see if he has anything left in the tank for next year (when we could sign him for a cheapo deal). A ground ball pitcher should theoretically have success at Wrigley and with the Cubs improved defense, it may make sense to take a look. While I’d much rather see Raley, Rusin or Struck, I’d sure rather see if Lowe has anything left in the tank than trot out Volstad, Coleman or Lopez.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well, I mean, I did mention that possibility. But the Cubs can observe him with other teams almost as well as they can observe him here (where he could be causing ancillary, albeit minor, problems for the Cubs in their efforts to evaluate other guys).

    • DocPeterWimsey

      This is the same sort of thinking as “let’s see if LaHair can hit lefties.” We’ve seen how Lowe is pitching. As recently as 2 years ago, he was an above average pitcher. However, he’s really lost his stuff over the last 18 months. Jed & Theo should have been watching that (or, more appropriately, their underlings should have been watching that and reporting to them) already. He does not need to have a Chicago on his jersey for us to “see what’s left.”

      (I would further caution that 2 months of performance does not mean much: if Lowe pitches pretty well over the next 2 months for anybody, I wouldn’t not forget what he’s done the last 1.67 years.)

      • Turn Two

        Things change, baseball isn’t all numbers, Dempster should not have had a career year this year either.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          But Dempster is/was not pitching appreciably better this year than he was last year. He had horrible luck last year and decent luck this year around the same core numbers.

          As for Lowe, however, his core numbers have been trending downwards since 2008, with a really big drop over the last couple of seasons. He still gets ground balls (always around 60%): but his K rate has steadily dropped while his walk rate has increased. Sure, that means a lot of double plays: but it also means a lot of guys on base and a lot of pitches thrown. It also means more flyballs (and thus HR) because of more batters faced.

          Those are the numbers that we can use to predict 2013 Lowe (or Dempster). Sure, Lowe might get lucky and have a 0.240 BABiP like Dempster did this year: but with only 3 K’s a game, that is still going to yield some runs.

          • Scotti

            Doc, Dempster didn’t have horrible luck last year. He had a horrible start. 9 HR in 30 IP isn’t bad luck. That 9.00 plus ERA was earned in April. The rest of his year was fine but your numbers don’t snap back from that kind of start.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              The high HR:FB rate was bad luck; the FB rate itself was not all that high (and certainly within expectations given the sample size). Also, the high BABiP was bad luck.

              Ultimately, there are 4 “real” outcomes for a pitcher: FB, GB, K and BB. Some proportion of FB’s lead to 1, 2, 3 and 4-bases. Some proportion of GB lead to 1, 2, 3 and 4-bases. (A very small proportion of lead to 1 base.) Those are really beyond the pitcher’s control: fielding, ball-park dimensions and good old-fashioned luck control the above/below expectations on those. However, if you see a marked shift in the 4 “real” outcomes (as Lowe has shown with K and possibly BB), then beware: the pitcher is getting better or worse.

              • Turn Two

                Anyone can fin numbers to match any argument they want to make. I am merely pointing out that just because Derek Lowe has struggled of late and your numbers do not show improvement, it does not mean in a new city, with management he is comfortable with and his solid groundball rate with our infield defense, he isnt worth taking a shot on.
                Its happened before. Thats the best part of baseball, things change and people have career years and older pitchers find a groove. He is a proven winner and therefore maybe worth taking a flyer on. Numbers are all good and fun, but careers while typically regressing to a mean, do not always. Why not take a chance on some guys in these otherwise difficult years.

                • BeyondFukudome

                  And anyone can find arguments to justify acquiring any player, apparently.

                • AB

                  Except the stuff Doc’s talking about has been empirically proven.

                  • BeyondFukudome

                    Hey, anyone can find arguments to prove stuff that’s true! 😉

                • Drew7

                  “Anyone can fin numbers to match any argument they want to make.”

                  I’m sorry, but this is such a cop-out. So many people use it to argue against the use of advanced statistics yet never give an example of how it can be done.

                  • TWC

                    Of course it’s a cop-out. It’s a way to dismiss maths they don’t understand, and to make themselves feel better about doing so.

                    If you don’t understand something, crap all over it.

                    • Bric

                      TWC, with all due respect, it really doesn’t have to do with understanding numbers. It’s more a question of justification.

                      I used to work for a fortune 200 company in the corporate communications dept. it was literally my job to cherry pick statistics and write them into a meaningful manner in order to justify certain acquisitions, developments and marketing initiatives to the over 7 hundred thousand stock holders. The steering committee and board would make decisions and leave it up to us to find numbers to support them. This at least is my personal experience with one company.

                      But to illustrate the effectiveness of this technique, an article was released last week that showed attendance numbers. The company I worked for still holds the top five spots and 6 of the top 7 IN THE WORLD. It blows away entire cities and countries such as Vegas, New York, and Aruba -so I can assure the practice does exist and can be extremely effective.

                  • Turn Two

                    Drew, the beauty of baseball is that everyone loves it for different reasons. Some like crunching numbers and studying and explaining why things happened. Others like to watch the game and make assessments based on what they see. Neither is not the correct way to watch baseball.
                    The issue at hand is Derek Lowe. His number suck lately and therefore the argument is that because his numbers have been so bad he is a bad signing. I think a veteran presence and a groundball pitcher in Wrigley isn’t all bad on a team that doesn’t have anything better.
                    No matter how I state that argument there are numbers, as Doc has delivered, that dispute it and thats fine. But I have seen Adam Dunn have a career worst year and comeback with a strong year, I have seen Paul Konerko look like a bust for years and figure it out upon going to the White Sox. There weren’t numbers that told you those things were going to happen. They can explain after the fact how it happened. While I love seeing the math behind baseball played out by the sabermetrics guys, it does not mean that I need to base my player assessments on it.
                    Does that make my opinions more subjective? Yes. Does it make them any more inaccurate? Generally no, because often times things dont make mathematical sense, baseball would not be much fun if they always did.

                    • Pat

                      When did Konerko struggle “for years” before joining the white sox? He had approx 300 MLB at bats over 2 seasons before that trade. And he was very much projected to be a good player based on his stats in the minors.

                      Stats and projections are not important for watching baseball, but they are very important for building a good baseball team. Trying to draw to an inside straight sometimes works, but it’s almost always a bad idea.

              • andrew

                I agree in general with what you say i.e. GB, FB, BB, K are four extremely good indicator of a pitchers abilities. However I have read several articles that show that BABIP can be controlled by a pitcher somewhat. I’ll have to find it again but it showed that there are many pitchers that have consistently had lower BABIP than their teammates, and generally those pitchers are the better ones. Since the defense and ballparks are all the same, the only other factors are luck (which is unlikely because the guy analyzed large sample sizes) and pitchers skill. This can also just be seen by the eye test. Some pitchers just seem adept at getting weak contact due to late movement of the pitches while others consistently get hit hard (Volstad seems to be a good example of this). I’ll have to do some googling to find the article

              • Scotti

                Doc, the theory behind BABIP specifically rules out HR (and BB) as being “luck” influenced. HR are not just a result of FB, they are often a result of bad pitches (hanging splits get tagged quite a bit). Dempster was just bad in April ’11.

                • TWC

                  Donny, you’re out of your element.

                  • MightyBear

                    What’s your point Walter?

                  • Scotti

                    Who is Donny? And, of course, saying “you’re out of your element” is every bit a cop-out as the finding numbers to suit your argument bit… If you disagree then make your case.

                    • Internet Random

                      The comment.

                      Scotti’s head.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Big Lebowski. It’s required viewing for this site.

                    • Sweetjamesjones

                      Yeah, that’s a quote from a movie Scotti. Actually one of the greatest movies of all time.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Certainly the most quotable movie of all time.

                      Second place? Princess Bride, maybe?

                    • Edwin

                      Obviously you’re not a golfer.

                    • Internet Random

                      See the movie. Thank us later. Also, know that it handsomely rewards repeated viewings.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      And watch with friends.

                    • Scotti

                      I’ve seen the movie. Several times but still not a fan. Can’t watch Goodman without thinking Roseanne Barr. Even if you’re just pretending to sleep with her that is just yuck. I don’t even like watching shows/comercials that Goodman does voice-overs for. And don’t get me started on Tom Arnold.

                      Regardless, the point remains. BABIP theory stats that HR (like BB) are a by-product of crappy pitching.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      ‘Roseanne’ is one of the best, and most important, comedies of the 20th century.

                      We’re just going to have to disagree about all manner of things entertainment…

                    • Scotti

                      Princess Bride, now there’s a movie. And none of those guys had anything to do with Roseanne Barr.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      How about this? Fred Willard, who is a big part of the Christopher Guest troop, was a series regular on ‘Roseanne.’ And Christopher Guest, of course, played the six-fingered man.

                    • Scotti

                      Brett, at least we have Princess Bride…

                    • Ralph

                      …at least I’m house broken.

                    • Scotti

                      As luck would have it I first watched Princess Bride in college. Way before seven degrees of Roseanne Barr was even a game.

                    • TWC

                      Fred Willard? Well, that’s a vein that hasn’t yet been mined on this site.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I didn’t want to beat it to death, though.

                    • TWC

                      As far as the wisecracks go, I figured you’d be the one to whip it out.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Such a touching comment.

                    • TWC

                      Do you really believe that? Or are you just yanking my chain?

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      This is starting to peter out a bit.

                    • TWC

                      The jokes are getting a bit limp.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      What joke? I was trying to lend a helping hand. Or, should it be taken a little more tongue and cheek?

                    • TWC

                      You trying to toot your own horn here?

                    • TWC

                      All right, forget it. I’m spent.

                  • Ralph

                    Brett, I agree. Roseanne was important because it was the first show that actually tried to depict a real working class family/town/environment. John Goodman would wear the same winter coat for like 4 seasons in a row, same ratty couch, etc… when have you ever seen that before? It was also a little ground breaking in that it featured the characters of Leon and Sandra as real people within a small community…. important step for television. All this said, I was never really a big fan… but important it was.

                    • OlderStyle

                      in regards to working class family show and seeing the same ratty couch (chair) with ground-breaking characters and dialog and viewpoints regarded as too real and shocking… All in the Family did that many years before.

                    • Scotti

                      All in the family, Good Times, even What’s Happening. Now THAT was a show.

                  • Internet Random

                    I saw The Princess Bride in the theater, you whippersnappers.

                    • Scotti

                      First movie my wife and I ever saw together. Wasn’t sure if it was just another campy film or awesome until the man in black dismounted off off the “uneven bar” in the sword fight.

      • cubmig

        Re: your last sentence: can’t help but be reminded of Q’s take over as manager and winning at the end of the season. It got him a contract for the following year, but it didn’t prove anything. Soooo….gotta’ be careful with end-of-the-year-showings. just my opinion.

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    There is NO upside. 11.8 hit/9 and 3.1 k/9. He is done. He has been average once in the last 4 years and hasn’t been good in 5.

  • TBFEOperator

    The problem with this line of thinking can be seen by looking at Jeff Samardzija. If we had looked at him at the end of some bad seasons, and watched him get blasted and then decided for sure we didn’t want him- we’d be out what looks like a real deal pitcher. Almost everybody (myself included) wanted him gone before this year and was tired of hearing about his starting potential (ie- Devin Hester as a #1 WR lol). However, fans are often quick to dismiss players who are still very young. In an era where Mike Trout and Bryce Harper can come up and contribute at a very young age, we must recognize those guys are the exception- not the rule. SD moved on from Rizzo after a bad debut and acquired Yonder Alonso. How’s that working? I wouldn’t mind seeing younger players either, and your point about Lowe’s worth is well taken. I’m just preaching patience with some of our young live arms that haven’t figured it out yet.

  • Master Dan

    Meh…, I’d be shocked if the Cubs picked him up. It wouldn’t make sense unless the Cubs see him as depth for next year’s run? But I think the Cubs can do better in depth for next year. Maybe? Hmmm…..

  • Curt

    Just no point in Lowe are we not supposed to be finding out we do and don’t have in the minors def a pass for me. keep piling losses up get as close to the top if the draft as you can.

  • Jeff1969

    Lowe is kinda intriguing, a little, but let’s hope this is just a bored Gordon Wittenmyer tweeting.

  • Mick

    Why not, it’s not like we have any better options. Maybe the guy would do a veteran’s minimum type deal for next season if he found some success in Wrigley. Also, if we’re going to lose out, we may as well do it respectively.

    • Mick

      I’d actually rather claim Cliff Lee. Yes, his contract his huge (guaranteed $95 million over the next 3 seasons ((including the rest of this year’s contract and his $12.5 million buyout in 2016))), but he obviously wouldn’t be blocking anybody antime soon, and he’d have actual trade value. What if we gave the Phillies Barney, Soriano, and cash to pay down all but $2 million/season of Soriano’s contract? The Phillies would have a couple of cheap depth pieces in Soriano and Barney and a boatload of money to use to plug their 3B and SP holes. The Cubs would get an immediate #1 SP to take the pressure off of Shark, a huge trade chip to dangle for the next 3 season, and a couple million/season freed up by dumping Soriano.

      • Chris

        Claiming Lee would be an interesting gamble. You almost have to wonder if Theo/Jed do have the financial flexibility to think of making moves like claiming guys getting put on waivers for the sole purpose of flipping them in the offseason. While I think Lee’s contract is still just too prohibitive to do something like this, maybe there’ll be another guy they can take a flyer on like this.

      • Cyranojoe

        Yay! That way the Cubs can play .500 ball next year!

        Awesome as it would be to have Cliff Lee in the rotation in the abstract, over in reality, it would ultimately be fruitless and sucky.

  • IACubRob

    Brett you make all kinds of sense as usual. I can’t disagree with you on any point.

    Somewhere deep down it just irks me that a family of four is shelling our mega bucks( 3rd highest in MLB in 2011) to attend a game. The best the front office can offer is Germano, Coleman or Volestad get blasted.

    Hey come back in 2015 and we might be competative if these draft picks pan out!

  • Spriggs

    Kind of smells like a “let’s do an old friend a favor” type deal. If they go ahead with this it really clues us in to how they really feel about Raley and Rusin. And that shouldn’t really surprise anyone either.

    • Chris

      Exactly. If they need him to eat innings, fine. But he can’t take innings away from any younger guy that could use some time in the bigs to learn the ropes. While I don’t have high hopes for Rusin, I think they should try and figure out what kind of player Raley is going to be. He’s had success all through the minors, is still fairly young. He’s not going to mow guys down, but maybe he can be a 4th or 5th starter.

  • Spencer

    Derek Lowe will push us over the edge. WORLD SERIES 2012 PUSH HERE WE COME!!!!!11!

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Bad contract swap with Soriano?

    • atfinch

      Honestly, this was my first thought too.

      • Bric

        True, both are bad contracts but Sori’s actually producing. if the Cubs are going to move him and eat most of his contract I’d like to get back a decent prospect born after 1980.

    • andrew

      Its not really a bad contract for the indians. Atlanta is paying 10 mill of the 15 mill he was owed this year and hes not signed for another season unlike soriano. If Cleveland offered me Lowe for Soriano straight up with no money being sent either way, I couldnt take that deal fast enough.

  • Rooster

    Casey Coleman needs to be released outright immediately. He’s a waste of a roster space. I’d rather take a chance on a ‘Mark Prior’ than waste my time or $$ watching this Coleman kid.

  • North Side Irish

    Lowe is bad enough that he might actually help improve the Cubs draft position next season. Maybe they can slot him in when Shark is shut down for his “innings limit”? I think Coleman, Lopez, and Volstad could form a nice core for a rotation that can solidify a top 3 pick, but they can always use a little more “help”.

  • Scotti

    While this Lowe stuff could just be a slow tweet day there could be reasons other than looking at him as a starter. Maybe the FO thinks he can be a good coach and this is a way to sell him on all things Cubs. Maybe they want him on the roster to show Big V that sinker after they bring him up in September. Maybe they want him in the pen. Or maybe there isn’t anyone in the system that they think should be pitching in MLB–if they could hold back Rizzo…

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I’ll go with the “cannon fodder” idea, myself…..

  • LWeb23

    Hey who knows, maybe the Cubs staff can find him a temporary fix. Have him pitch decently over the next two months, sign a 1 year contract in the offseason. Then he only has to hold it together until July and we trade him like we traded Maholm.

  • Joshua


  • http://castorrated.wordpress.com Josh

    I think the reason that Theo/Jed are hesitant to bring up some younger pitchers is the same reason they waited so long for Rizzo. They don’t want to bring anyone up too early, have them get blasted, and then mentally be set back another year. The Cubs aren’t going to win this year or next. Why rush young talent? Keep developing them in the minors and bring them up when they are good and ready. Also picking up Lowe (as you said) would give them some depth at SP. This will allow them to move more pieces around for the remainder of the year and they won’t be handcuffed if something happens to someone else. Given the circumstances after the deadline, I can see where this would be a wash move. No skin off anyone’s nose…..except for the fan’s.

  • djriz

    The Cubs could be looking for an adequate 6th or 7th starter. We need innings so we don’t kill our bullpen, and isn’t there a possibility they shut down ‘Shark’. You sign Lowe to get you through August, then in Sept you bring up the entire AAA and AA pitching staffs so no one gets hurt.

  • Cub Style

    Cheap retirement deal?

  • cubs217

    I could see the Cubs picking up Lowe as a way to build depth in the rotation for the end of the year. I dont think it is a horrible idea to limit Samardzija’s inning going forward (similar to Strasberg or Sale) since this is his first full year in the rotation. Adding someone might Lowe might merely be with the purpose of picking up a player capable of the occasional spot start.

  • quintz

    Trying to fire myself up enough to have an opinion either way on the possibility of adding Derek Lowe………failing miserably.

  • Leroy K.

    We’re getting Derek Lowe???!!!!! Excellent!!!!!!!!! Man I am so excited!!!

    Wait…this isn’t 2004?

    • cubs217

      If this were ’04 Lowe would be a great addition and we would have a superstar in Soriano roaming the outfield. The only downside is Castro and Rizzo would be 14.

  • Patrick

    In before everyone raging at me…

    I don’t think letting Volstad start the rest of the season is a bad idea. Everyone seems to forget the guy WAS at one point a top prospect and thought to be the future of the Fins, I know… WAS, and I completely understand hes never really panned out, but everyone also forgets hes only 25, and this is his first season in a brand new city, with brand new team mates and everything, getting used to so much change CAN be hard. I say let the guy pitch and see what happens, you never know what he could turn out to be, although I don’t think much will come out of it other than a 6+ ERA and no wins, but its worth a shot, what else do we have to lose? Lowe isn’t going to make us compete next year, might as look at every angle for every option we have, I think. Although I agree with the consensus that he won’t turn it around, but I would rather have him over a lot of the guys we have in AAA, other than Rusin and Raley, and the idea of trying Volstad in the closer role or even in a relief role, is a decent idea.

  • BD

    Brett- I found a typo: “An added win or two this year?”

    That should say “An added loss or two.” Because that is the value of Lowe. This move would simply show the FO’s commitment to getting as high of a draft pick as possible.

    How do I know that? Because Lowe is awful. So bad, I would rather watch Casey Coleman go out there. Yeah… that’s not good.

  • Curt

    much like drugs,smoking and rooting for the cardinals or whitesox just say no.bring up someone , anyone to see if they have anything to offer at this level , if we were a playoff team myb but as the cubs stand currently Lowe serves no purpose.