Jan 15

Santana endorses Perez return

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?

Jan 14

Santana: WBC is Mets’ call.

SANTANA: WBC up in the air.

SANTANA: WBC up in the air.

Johan Santana plans to represent Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, but said that won’t be his call.

“It will be a medical decision,’’ Santana said this morning in a conference call. “The team will need to approve it. … There are a lot of things here that the Mets want to protect, and if they don’t want me to play I will not play.’’

Santana had arthroscopic surgery in October to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and has not begun his off-season throwing.

He will be examined next week in Port St. Lucie, and then could begin a long-toss throwing program.

“I want to play, but at this point I don’t really know what’s going to happen,’’ Santana said. “If everything is not right they will not let me go.’’

Jan 14

A gift from Evan ….

New stadium looking good.

New stadium looking good.

Hey guys…

I went over to Shea/Citi Field today to take some pics and to my amazement I was invited into the Rotunda, which is pretty rare unless you’re media or a construction worker. I also took a bunch of pics of Shea, which basically looks like a war zone. The LF Upper Deck is no more….

Anyway, if you’re interested I upload a bunch at……enjoy

http://s374.photobucket.com/albums/oo185/saltzy23/

Evan

Jan 13

Braves get Lowe. What’s next?

Sixty million over four years got it done for Derek Lowe with the Braves. The Mets were a year and $24 million short. Oliver Perez, who should feel unwanted right about now, wants four years and the Mets are at three.

Ben Sheets is still out there, injured arm and all. So are Pedro Martinez and Randy Wolf. Whatever the signing, it has been a disappointing winter for the Mets regarding their starting pitching.

The Mets entered the offseason wanting to address their bullpen, but that includes getting starters capable of eating innings. It is not unfair to attach questions to four of the five starters after Johan Santana.

Mike Pelfrey: Will he continue to progress or hit a wall, which often happens in a pitcher’s development.

John Maine: Coming off surgery.

Tim Redding: A .500 pitcher last year with a lifetime losing record. OK, for a fifth starter, but the expectations could rise.

Fifth starter: To be determined. Jon Niese will compete. Bringing back Martinez might have to be the plan.