Many thought it at the time, that when John Maine left that game in Washington after only five pitches that he was also leaving the Mets.
It sure appears that way as they aren’t likely to tender a contract to Maine by today’s midnight deadline. They’ll tender Mike Pelfrey, RA Dickey, Angel Pagan, and possibly Sean Green, but Maine is a longshot.
Maine came to the Mets in the Kris Benson deal as a throw-in, but emerged into a viable, productive pitcher. He won 15 games in 2007, but injuries, a weak shoulder and sometimes his attitude sabotaged him. Maine never regained the form that brought optimism he might develop into something special.
I don’t think the Mets did him any favors last spring and he was poorly handled by Jerry Manuel and Dan Warthen, but Maine also didn’t bring much to the table the past two years.
A team weak in pitching, the Mets might bring him back at a reduced rate, but with the pitching market so thin, he’s liable to test the waters to see what’s out there. There’s also no compelling reason why he’d want to return especially since he’s still steamed at Warthen.
At one time, Maine represented potential and good things to the Mets – remember that game against the Marlins? – but now he personifies part of what went wrong. He’s about unrealized dreams.
Of course, so does Oliver Perez, but the Mets are on the hook to him for $12 million and they have no other choice but to give it one more chance. Maine would come at a lower rate so it’s much easier to cut the ties.
As far as Dickey is concerned, the Mets will tender him and then work on an extension. They’ll probably want to see is last year was a fluke before giving him a multi-year contract.