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 30

Welcome to the 2009 Hot Stove season ….

As the Phillies were rolling around on the infield last night much to the dismay of most Mets fans, take solace in that 2008 is officially over. The last out of the World Series officially brings with it the start of the 2009 season, although the Mets have been thinking for the past month about what went wrong and what to do about it.

It’s time to build GM Omar Minaya’s shopping list for the Hot Stove Season.

Here’s my list:

1. Starter #1: Fixing the bullpen begins first with fixing the rotation. They need to add a starter to begin shaving innings from the bullpen total. They will attempt to re-sign Oliver Perez and add a solid, but not spectacular starter such as Derek Lowe.

2. Closer: The Phillies proved a dominant closer is better than a closer-by-committee format. Brian Fuentes appears first on their list. The money is too steep for Francisco Rodriguez.

3. Starter #2: The Mets need fifth starter. They could go in the market, they could gamble with Jon Niese or they could bring back Pedro Martinez.

4. Adding bullpen depth: The Mets’ bullpen blew 29 saves, but Billy Wagner only coughed it up seven times. There were a lot of collapses in the seventh and eighth innings. Help is needed.

5. Bench (right-handed hitting outfielder): Fernando Tatis should be re-signed, I could go with the platoon of he and Daniel Murphy. Adding a proven bat would be beneficial, but not at the expense of adding pitching.

6. Re-signing Carlos Delgado: It’s doubtful Delgado will duplicate last season’s second half, but there shouldn’t be that big a dropoff. I don’t understand the eagerness of some to trade him. Afterall, for a team with holes, trading him adds another. Delgado does have a no-trade clause so it will cost something to get him to waive it.

Oct 18

On the table: What about Peavy?

Peavy: Would cost more than a few legs to get that arm.

Peavy: Would cost more than a few legs to get that arm.

I know, I know. Jake Peavy is available. But, the Padres don’t have to trade him. That means he’ll cost a whole lot more. Daniel Murphy, as much as I like him, would probably be included.

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.

Oct 10

Who gets the ball?

Would you give Sabathia all that money?

Would you give Sabathia all that money?

The Mets are staring at two holes in their rotation with the possible losses of Oliver Perez and Pedro Martinez. The free-agent market has options with CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett. So, you’re Omar. Who gets the money? Would you give Sabathia $150 million?

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)

Sep 26

Mets in the Afternoon: Pick tomorrow’s starter.

-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.