With the Mets four year $50 million+ deal, they have now become the poster child of crazy. People think that is as close to a definition of insanity in baseball as we have witnessed since the Mike Hampton contract?. Well, let's take a look at that.
2001: $8.0M (+$20.0M signing bonus deferred until end of contract)
2003: $11.0M [ATL $2.0M / FLA $9.0M]
2004: $12.0M [ATL $2.0M / FLA $10.0M]
2005: $12.5M [ATL $1.5M / FLA $11.0M]
2009: Team option $20.0M or $6.0M buyout
This signing was coming from a team who's average payroll since 2001 ($66,218,052.75) is only 60% higher than the Mets current revenue from their radio and TV deals alone. This is not even comparable and such a notion is stupidity in itself as the Mets are in the biggest media market in the world. The Mets are no small market team who cannot afford this. In fact they can afford a bad contract if push comes to shove. Is this the optimal move? Would trading for Hudson and giving him the same deal have been better? I think we all know the answers but we also know the Mets are not the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, A's, or Braves in that free agents actually want to go to those teams. The Mets have a stadium that is regarded as the worst in the majors now that the Vet and Olympic Stadium are out with no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of a new one. They are coming off two last place finishes and a third place finish and need to try and establish themselves as players.
Labrum issue or not, this deal is good for the Mets. The Red Sox would not have been insane to lock him up for three years, but the Mets add a year because they are going to have to overpay for any free agent for the next few years and they are out of their minds. It looks like the Red Sox are out of theirs heading into the season with Curt Schilling, David Wells, Tim Wakefield and Bronson Arroyo. That won't cut it. The Red Sox need to make a move if they plan on getting back to the World Series....or even the playoffs for that matter. With Curt unlikely for opening day, they are probably going to try and make a move, but if they fail, the Mets will have a better pitching staff end to end.
Omar is anything but insane. They guy took a gamble and it looks like one they had to take. It is not about the back pages in my opinion, it's about making the team better and Pedro does that. Pedro is not 'done' he is still one of the leagues premier pitchers. He's going to have an MRI so all those columnists will have to find something else to complain about. This move is good for the Mets even if the does not pitch in the fourth year of his contract. Hell, it may be a good move if he doesn't pitch the last two years of the contract as long it opens some players eyes that his may be a place to come and he can help rack up some wins over the next two years. People are talking about Pedro as if he did not still own a K/9 that is over 9 or he was not 2nd in the league in K’s. Unreal. His numbers still speak for themselves. Is he the same pitcher he was in 1999? No way. But anytime you can add a pitcher who is head an shoulders better than any pitcher you’ve had in almost the last 20 years, you’ve succeeded at something. To some this was a desperate move and to a certain extent it was, but the Mets needed to put their name back on the baseball map and this is a start.
"I only hope to honor my contract and to fulfill the expectations," Martinez said on television in the Dominican Republic. "We got what we wanted. The team and I are happy with everything."
"The bigger the contract, the bigger the responsibility," Martinez said.