Murphy, F-Mart and Jon Niese, and throw in Aaron Heilman, might get it done. That’s a lot, but I’d have to do that deal.
Do you re-sign either Perez or Martinez and go elsewhere?
Do you re-sign both Perez and Martinez?
Do you go elsewhere to fill both holes?
Do you give the ball to Jon Niese for the season and take your lumps?
THE FREE AGENT MARKET FOR STARTING PITCHERS
Kris Benson (33)
A.J. Burnett (32) – can opt out after ’08 season
Paul Byrd (38)
Roger Clemens (46)
Matt Clement (33)
Bartolo Colon (36)
Ryan Dempster (32)
Shawn Estes (36)
Josh Fogg (32)
Freddy Garcia (33)
Jon Garland (29)
Tom Glavine (43)
Mike Hampton (36)
Mark Hendrickson (35)
Livan Hernandez (34)
Orlando Hernandez (43)
Jason Jennings (30)
Randy Johnson (45)
John Lackey (30) – $9MM club option for ’09 with a $0.5MM buyout
Jon Lieber (39)
Braden Looper (34)
Rodrigo Lopez (33) – club option for ’09
Derek Lowe (36)
Greg Maddux (43)
Pedro Martinez (37)
Sergio Mitre (28)
Jamie Moyer (46)
Mark Mulder (31) – $11MM club option for ’09 with a $1.5MM buyout
Mike Mussina (40)
Carl Pavano (33) – $13MM club option for ’09 with a $1.95MM buyout
Brad Penny (31) – $8.75MM club option for ’09 with a $2MM buyout
Odalis Perez (32)
Oliver Perez (27)
Andy Pettitte (37)
Sidney Ponson (32)
Mark Prior (27)
Kenny Rogers (44)
Glendon Rusch (34)
C.C. Sabathia (28)
Curt Schilling (42)
Ben Sheets (30)
John Smoltz (42)
Tim Wakefield (42) – perpetual $4MM club option
Kip Wells (32)
Randy Wolf (32)
-He’s pitched a good game and he’s pitched a poor one. The Mets are hoping Jon Niese has another good one in him and the first one wasn’t a fluke. It looks as if he’ll go Saturday. It’s not official, but he seems to have the inside track over Brandon Knight or Nelson Figueroa. Who would you go with?
-If tonight gets rained out, the Mets will have a day-night doubleheader Saturday. Assuming, of course, the weather holds up. There’s no guarantee of that, either.
-Brian Schneider didn’t play last night because of soreness in his back. He can only benefit if tonight gets rained out. No word of his status if they do play.
-Damion Easley said last night he should be available to play in the field tonight. Sorry. Right now, I’m sticking with Ramon Martinez.
-The Daily News’ Peter Botte reports Dwight Gooden will be at the closing ceremonies Sunday.
Someday, Jon Niese might become a viable major league pitcher. That he started such a critical game last night indicates the seriousness of the Mets’ pitching woes and I’ve drawn these conclusions:
1. John Maine is too valuable for them to screw around with in the bullpen considering his health issues. He’s not going to be the difference. They will not win the World Series this year. Shut him down and have him be ready for spring training.
2. Pedro Martinez has had a Hall of Fame career. But, those days are gone. If he comes back next year, it should be as the fifth starter. They should cut ties with Martinez, but I’m entertaining his return because I anticipate Oliver Perez’s departure and Niese not being ready.
3. It is a sad state of affairs Perez will become richer than beyond his wildest dreams for being mediocre. He’s pitched well this year in parts, but his record screams mediocrity.
4. Of course, the records of Maine, Perez, Johan Santana and even Mike Pelfrey are below what they should be because of a bullpen that blew 29 saves. The pen has to be overhauled.
Mets and Braves playing a doubleheader at Shea today. Rain in the forecast for tonight. First game at 4 p.m., the second about a half-hour later. Late start courtesy of TV.
Johan Santana against Mike Hampton in the first game; Jon Niese and Jo-Jo Reyes in the second game.
Brian Schneider catches Santana and will catch Oliver Perez tomorrow. Robinson Cancel will catch Niese in the second game.
Jerry Manuel tried to be coy before the game, saying he didn’t know the club’s magic number is 14. Don’t believe him. I think he’s aware of all those things. He’s too sharp not to know.
Speaking of which, I think it would be appropriate to announce an extension for him and his interim coaches.