MARTINEZ: Mets have to call the shots.
If the Mets want Pedro Martinez back, it has to be on their terms, not those of the temperamental pitcher. Martinez, who at 37 has far more yesterdays than tomorrows on his resume, told ESPNdeportes he wants another year with the Mets.
The Mets have an interest, however, as with all things Martinez, it’s never that easy.
“I’ve said it previously, and I have said to my agents, that they do not speak to me of contracts until January,” said Martinez, who is hardly in a position to dictate terms based on his 5-6 record with a 5.61 ERA in 20 starts (caused by injuries and missing time due to the death of his father).
Martinez called all the shots last year in his rehab, and did a lot of training away from the club. Who knows? Had he rehabbed under the Mets’ supervision might he have been better off?
Martinez is also undecided about the World Baseball Classic. He wants to participate, but is this really in the best interest of the team that signs him? With one year left, wouldn’t he be better off with a full spring training?
PEREZ: Next priority? (Photo: AP)
OK, the Mets have their closer. What’s next? Just adding Francisco Rodriguez won’t be enough. There’s still need of adding another reliever as well as a starter.
Whom do you choose?
My thinking is they’ll need to go after a starter first, which could translate into bringing back Oliver Perez. They have three starters as of now, with two questions in the back end of the rotation. Make it three questions if you’re concerned about John Maine coming back from arthroscopic shoulder surgery.
MARTINEZ: Wants another year with the Mets.
The Mets’ rotation could again include Pedro Martinez, who wants to return and GM Omar Minaya has a reciprocal interest in bringing him back.
Said Minaya to ESPN.deportes: “We have interest in him. We’re going to talk to his agent when we have the opportunity.”
The Mets have three starters – Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine – but with their odds long on getting Derek Lowe, they might have to settle for bringing back Oliver Perez, and that’s not a given.
Jon Niese would be expected to compete with Martinez for the fifth spot in the rotation.
FUENTES: Could he still be in play?
OK, you’re the Mets and you’ve landed the top reliever in the market, Francisco Rodriguez. Pending a physical, of course. So, do you also make a FA play for Brian Fuentes or make a trade for Huston Street?
Considering they first courted him as a closer, the Mets might have to offer more money if they want to Fuentes to take a lesser role. Street, of course, would have to come in a trade for prospects.
The Mets reached agreement with closer Francisco Rodriguez on a three-year, $37 million deal, pending a physical. The deal includes a $14 million vesting option for a fourth year that would raise the total value of the contract to $51 million.
The option is based on innings pitched, which means he has to be healthy to get the year, and consequently, his money.