Dec 10

What’s next?

PEREZ: Next priority? (Photo: AP)

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.

Agree?

Dec 09

Mets to talk with Pedro ….

MARTINEZ: Wants another year with the Mets.

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.

Nov 18

On the Table: One more year for Pedro?

MARTINEZ: Wants one more year with Mets.

MARTINEZ: Wants one more year with Mets.

Bringing back Pedro Martinez for a year was a topic last night in Mets Chat Room, and his agent, Fern Cuza, said the future Hall of Famer wants another season with the Mets.

No surprise there.

“I can still pitch,’’ Martinez told me the morning of the season finale. “This hasn’t been a normal year for me.’’

With injuries and time off because of the death of his father, Martinez started and stopped several times last season. He was never in cync.

Assuming his health, where would Martinez fit?

Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine are ahead of him. Jon Niese will compete for the fifth spot, and the fourth spot in the rotation is uncertain. The Mets are looking at Derek Lowe and bringing back Oliver Perez for the fourth spot.

Martinez is no more than a fifth starter these days. He went at least six innings in half his 20 starts, and only twice pitched seven innings.

If healthy, perhaps he would have won 10 games instead of five. Who can say? Should the Mets give Martinez one more year or roll the dice with Niese?

Oct 10

Maine optimistic after surgery ….

Maine: Anxious to get going.

Maine: Anxious to get going.

The Mets did the right thing when Jerry Manuel shut down John Maine down the stretch.

“They told me it was the biggest one they’d ever removed, the biggest one they’d ever seen,” Maine said of the bone spur removed from his right shoulder. “They couldn’t believe I could throw with that in there.”

Maine said it was the size of a softball.

Nobody knows had Maine tried to work out of the pen if the spur would have rubbed against and/or torn a muscle or ligament. Instead, he’s now anxious to get going. He said he feels great and wants to start throwing immediately, but won’t until December.

Sep 30

Maine to have surgery today

Maine: To have bone spur removed today.

Maine: To have bone spur removed today.

John Maine will have surgery today to shave down a bone spur that irritated muscles in his right shoulder. He said it’s not a complicated surgery and would be ready for spring training.

“It needs to get done,” Maine said. “It’s a simple surgery, nothing major. No attaching or reattaching of anything. We’ll take the rehab seriously and I’ll be good to go for spring training.”

Maine should begin his rehab program in December and is expected to long-toss by the start of the new year.

Maine was activated down the stretch and hoped to pitch out of the bullpen, but manager Jerry Manuel wisely chose not to go that route.