For as much as people want to portray Scott Boras as the root of all evil and a ruthless agent who always gets what he wants, I don't think he truly succeeded in regards to the free agency of Derek Lowe. Boras was shooting for a Barry Zito type of contract earlier in the offseason, which, of course, constitutes $126 million over seven years. He passed on the Mets' hard-line offer of $36 million over three years and settled on Atlanta and their $60 million for four years. At $15 million per season and 36, 37, 38, and 39, Lowe will be paid handsomely and surely more than he is worth, so credit to Boras for that. Lowe was ranked 50th amongst all players (22nd amongst starters) in FIC in 2008 and had a Reina Value of +25%, 'deserving' to make $12.5 million. The appealing thing about Lowe is his consistency, posting ERA's of 3.61, 3.63, 3.88, and 3.24 during his four seasons in Los Angeles. Lowe is 10th in ERA+ during that timeframe amongst starters with at least 700 innings, ahead of (drumroll..) A.J. Burnett, the original (free agent) target for Atlanta's winter. Atlanta was roped into a bidding war with the Yankees for Burnett and eventually pushed their offer to $80 million over five years. The Braves can't afford to spend money on nothing, which is a very legitimate proposition with Burnett, and although he is incapable of being truly dominant, Lowe will do two things: throw sinkers and eat innings. Lowe becomes the anchor and front guy, who will hopefully allow Jair Jurrjens to continue his development and is, of course, a much surer thing than Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami. John Smoltz is gone, and Tim Hudson won't be back until August. The Braves will need some help in order to compete with the Mets and Phillies, and this signing simultaneously helps themselves while hurting those NL East rivals that were also bidding for Lowe. He isn't Jake Peavy, but getting to keep Yunel Escobar and not having to sign Rafael Furcal makes the offseason with Lowe more successful short-term and long-term than the alternatives. Grade for Braves: B-