Reports have Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon in Atlanta to meet with Jerry Manuel and Oliver Perez to best figure out how to handle the disintegrating lefty.
1) Convince him to accept a minor league assignment. As a veteran of at least five years he has the right of veto. The pros of going to the minor leagues is it could demoralize the already shaky Perez emotionally beyond repair. Nobody has a way of knowing for sure. Theoretically, he’ll get consistent work in, albeit away from pitching coach Dan Warthen.
2) Keep him around where he could work with Warthen and pitch out of the bullpen in a to-be-determined role. The disadvantage is not getting consistent work against live hitters.
3) Put him on the DL with a knee (injury). All of a sudden Perez was wrapped in ice after Saturday’s start and said it had been hurting him all year. This is the path of least resistance because the Mets can bring somebody up and Perez can still be around the team to work out.
We’ll know tonight.
MARTINEZ: One more year?
I remember talking with Pedro Martinez the last day of the season and him telling me he never felt ready between rehabbing injuries and taking time off to visit his ailing father.
“I don’t want to leave this way,” Martinez told me then. “I didn’t feel right this year. I know I can still pitch.”
Martinez had his moments last season, both good and bad, but a guy with his heart shouldn’t be easily dismissed. If his pride lets him be a fourth or fifth starter, then he’s worth it. Let’s face it, could he be any worse than Freddy Garcia or Tim Redding?
There’s a report out of the Dominican Republic that has Omar Minaya meeting with Martinez about bringing the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer back for an encore to his four-year, $53 million contract.
Let’s face it, the Mets aren’t set with their rotation. With no assurances they’ll re-sign Oliver Perez, bringing back Martinez in a stop gap role makes sense. He’s not the young stud we’d all like, but there aren’t any guarantees Jon Niese is that guy, either.
GARCIA: Worth the gamble.
GM Omar Minaya said a team can’t have enough pitching, that he’s always interested in stockpiling bodies for spring training.
Freddy Garcia, 34, who has pitched in just 14 games the last two seasons because of an injured shoulder, qualifies more as a body than he does certified pitching. He’s logged only 73 combined innings with Detroit and Philly the last two years, but was worth the risk to be signed to a minor league deal last night that could balloon to $7.5 million with incentives (starts and/or innings).
Garcia won 17 games for the 2006 White Sox, and the Mets had some interest after that season.At this point, Garcia is another body, but a good signing if he’s healthy for that cost. It also sends a message to Oliver Perez they aren’t waiting.
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?
Assuming this is it, that Tim Redding is the last offseason piece to the Mets’ puzzle, are you satisfied with the job general manager Omar Minaya has done this winter? What kind of grade would you give him?