If the Mets want Pedro Martinez back, it has to be on their terms, not those of the temperamental pitcher. Martinez, who at 37 has far more yesterdays than tomorrows on his resume, told ESPNdeportes he wants another year with the Mets.
The Mets have an interest, however, as with all things Martinez, it’s never that easy.
“I’ve said it previously, and I have said to my agents, that they do not speak to me of contracts until January,” said Martinez, who is hardly in a position to dictate terms based on his 5-6 record with a 5.61 ERA in 20 starts (caused by injuries and missing time due to the death of his father).
Martinez called all the shots last year in his rehab, and did a lot of training away from the club. Who knows? Had he rehabbed under the Mets’ supervision might he have been better off?
Martinez is also undecided about the World Baseball Classic. He wants to participate, but is this really in the best interest of the team that signs him? With one year left, wouldn’t he be better off with a full spring training?
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.
Let’s just say for the sake of the argument the Mets sign Derek Lowe. We know they aren’t going to break the bank in Yankee proportions, and it comes down to bringing back Oliver Perez at the reported number of $75 million or Brian Fuentes at $44 million and a handful of relievers.
What’s your choice?
I would take Fuentes and the relievers because it would solve the team’s greatest problem, and for the final starter I’d give Jon Niese a chance, or at worst, bring back Pedro Martinez as the fifth starter.
You know what you’re going to get from Perez, and the Mets could probably get the same from Niese and Martinez and whatever emergency starter they throw out there. That includes the angst of uncertainty.
Pat Burrell turned down $22 million over two years from Philadelphia and CC Sabathia is about to turn down over $100 million from Milwaukee.
All signs are pointing toward the Yankees getting Sabathia. They don’t appear to have a ceiling. The same can’t be said about the Mets. They’ll have money coming off the books with Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez and Moises Alou going, but they’ll be giving raises to David Wright and Jose Reyes.
Their payroll last year was $143 million, and I don’t see it going much higher.