MAINE: Meet in the middle.
Last spring, after negotiations failed to produce a deal, the Mets renewed John Maine as is their right. They are $800,000 apart this year.
Maine wants $3 million after going 10-8 last year in 25 starts, his year cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery. The Mets are at $2.2 million.
Here’s a thought: Why not meet in the middle?
I can see both sides on this one. Mets: Maine won five less games and is coming off an injury. Maine: Regarded as a rotation key with big expectations.
PEREZ: What is he thinking?
We all know about Oliver Perez’s inconsistency and propensity for losing concentration on the mound. For him to be out there this long I’m starting to think his agent, Scott Boras, isn’t doing him any favors.
Perez’s mind must be all over the place, just like one of those days when he can’t find the plate. It appears Perez isn’t going to get what he wants and you have to wonder how much he’ll let it affect him on the mound.
Maybe a better strategy instead of going five years is to go two, and if he produces over that time he can do this again and cash in. Remember, last season was a walk year for Perez, and although he pitched well in spurts he still had too many moments when he didn’t and won only ten games.
The Mets signed Casey Fossum to a minor league deal. Whew …. I feel better now about their pitching.
The more I think about it, the more I believe there is an upside to signing Ben Sheets. Yes, he has an injury history, but his history also includes 31 starts and 198 innings last season with Milwaukee.
The market is running away from Sheets, but the Mets should be able to sign him to a year plus an option with a contract loaded with incentives. If Sheets proves healthy, he’d be a great pick up.
Of course, signing Sheets shouldn’t be the Mets only move with spring training a month away. There’s still Randy Wolf and Andy Pettitte to consider, not to mention Oliver Perez. Remember, we’re talking about the fourth or fifth starter, so I wouldn’t dismiss Pettitte so easily.
Oliver Perez is 27, lefthanded and can throw the hell out of the ball. He is also inconsistent and for all his natural skills was 10-7 with a 4.22 ERA last season. This after a seemingly breakout year in 2007.
Mets ace Johan Santana endorsed his return to GM Omar Minaya in a conference call yesterday.
“I think has learned a lot from last year,” Santana said. “I had a great time with him and hopefully Omar will be able to keep him. He matured. He learned every game is important.
“I told him from the beginning, it doesn’t matter what you do tomorrow, you have to learn from today. Sometimes he lets his emotions take over, so he could be more mature this year. Hopefully, Omar and his agent will find a way to keep him in New York. He’s not just a great guy, but a good pitcher, too. He’s going to be a good one.”
The Mets’ current thinking is $30 million over three years, but Perez’s agent, Scott Boras, wants more in both money and years, with reports of $52 million over four years.
That’s more money than Perez is worth based on production, but the thing about these contracts is they are also based on potential.
Do you believe Santana? Do you believe Perez has learned enough to take the next step? Is he worth the fourth year?