Omar finally made his splash with his reeling in of Pedro Martinez. The Mets succeeded in bringing a bona fide ace, I don’t think anyone can argue that. Pedro immediately becomes the best pitcher that Mets have and the best pitcher the Mets have had since Dwight Gooden. However, people can argue the terms and length of the deal and how that could negatively affect the team two years from now. I think the consensus is not so much worried as the first two years as the final two years. I’m not so sure that should be a concern. In 2006, the Mets only have about $57.50 million in committed payroll including Pedro and Benson as of right now. That number is significantly reduced to about $35 million in committed payroll in 2007 with only $25.5 million in committed payroll in 2008. I know 2008 is far down the line and the Mets will have taken on other contracts right by then driving up that figure, but the Mets have payroll flexibility and will have it for the foreseeable future. After 2005, the Mets will only have one or two players (two if they pick up an outfielder or first baseman that costs more than $10 mill, one if they don’t) that have salary over $10 million. Basically the Mets could stretch the 2005 payroll if they needed to another $20 million in free agents this off season and be bit above their budget this season and large amount under budget in 2006 with not many pieces to add. As of right now, the only spots not occupied for the next two seasons outside the some bullpen and some bench openings are RF and 1B, and those should be filled this off season as well (counting Floyd in the mix and Piazza either re-signing or running with Phillips/Wilson in 2006, and Glavine in 2006 for the rotation). The Mets will be gaining payroll flexibility while not having to add many pieces. Throw into that equation some pitchers in Humber, Petit, Soler, Bannister and Keppel, and some position players like Victor Diaz, Lastings Milledge, Aarom Baldiris, etc. that will be taking over for some high priced veterans down the line and you have a nice balance of free agents injected with cheap home grown talent. Keeping the payroll manageable so you can bring in the big ticket free agents when you need to with a good farm system is a start for a sustained winner. They Mets can have that if they play their cards right.
The Mets can afford this deal and they could still afford to add another big bat in the outfield while going on the cheap with Mientkiewcz or Olerud on the infield or vice versa. While a run at Beltran is not inconceivable, I do not think anyone knows if Omar has him on the radar. This contract, while could end looking really bad in 2007 and 2008, will not hamstring the team’s finances and preclude them from adding payroll in the future even if he becomes less effective or injured towards the end. Pedro would not have been my first choice for the risk and the money, but you will not find me complaining as it does bring the Mets a certain type of legitimacy and the reward is high. It brings a guy in who could be dominating in 2005 and it significantly upgrades the rotation with a difference maker and may make the Mets a more attractive place to certain players whether it be in 2005 or 2006. Will he bring his El Diva attitude? I hope so. I want a player with some personality. I want a player that is going to be competitive and add some fire while not being afraid to come inside on a batter. Pedro has that, he’s a fierce competitor. Pedro is a lot of things, some good and some bad, and one of the good things is that he has pride and never backs down. I have no doubt he is going to be a benefit to this Met team, the question is for how long.
Now to that outfield…..
Pedro to Shea? Even Minaya's friends suggested he stop, exhale slowly and ask why Martinez would leave a world championship team and a loyal fan base.
and certainly not me. Omar can kindly extend his middle finger to anyone who doubted him. I could not see this one coming. I thought after the Pavano to the Yankees deal (or soon to be deal) Pedro would be priority #1 for them. I am dumbfounded.
But friends of the right-hander said it would've taken a blow-away offer from the Mets to even appear on Pedro's radar screen - say, four years, $55 million - and it became obvious Friday that the Mets won't soar to those heights.
Would four years $56 million do the job? Nothing is obvious to me anymore. With this move I all of sudden started thinking does Omar have the cajones to take Steinbrenner on and overpay for Beltran? Make no mistake, the Mets need to add some offense now. I’m sure Pedro is no dummy and he asked what Omar plans to do. Pedro likes the win and if he has any chance of racking up some W’s the Mets need to add a premium bat. Whether that be Manny, Magglio, Delgado, Drew, or Beltran, someone will be in a Met uniform. Moises alone just won’t cut it.
Pedro: 33 games, 217 innings, 193 hits, 94 runs, 26 homers allowed, 40 BB, 239 K's, 16-9 record, 3.90 ERA, 9.42 K/9, 3.72 BB/9, .238 BAA, .299 OBP, .399 SLG
Roger: 33 games 211.2 innings 199 hits, 92 runs, 24 homers allowed, 58 BB, 190 K's, 17-9 record, 3.91 ERA, 8.08 K/9, 3.28 BB/9, .247 BAA, .298 OBP, .396 SLG
While I completely understand Pedro does not take care of himself in terms of off season workout regimen and Clemens has a reputation for being a workhorse, the numbers are pretty damn similar. Clemens followed up the move to the NL by posting over another K/9 and actually posted over his career average and saw a dip to .217/.289/.329 from his previous years. Pedro's ERA was his highest ever at 3.90, a figure Clemens topped six times in his career. People are very scared about his shoulder, but the fact is he may be able to do some great things at Shea for a few years. As far as his pitch count, in 2004 he averaged 105.8 pitches, which was more than Roger at 104.0. Over the past three years Pedro has averaged 102.3 pitchers per start to Roger's 104.3 pitches.
The Mets may have a sleeper first base candidate. They and the White Sox are battling to sign Luis Garcia, a minor league free agent who hit .313 with 32 homers for the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas last season.
Luis really had a breakout season in 2004. He hit 20 homers once back in 2000 and never topped 77 RBIs. In 2004 he topped 30 homers and 90 RBIs while having his highest batting average ever. I would say this would qualify as an out of the box move that has no downside at all really. They have nothing to lose with his guy who just turned 25 in November.
Mike Piazza's agent, Dan Lozano, on Piazza's role next year: "He's catching. End of story. They told Mike to put away the first baseman's mitt." Interestingly, the Angels have expressed some interest in Piazza. . . .
The Mets remain alive in the hunt for Sammy Sosa but are long shots. They're also interested in free agent Desi Relaford as a backup infielder.
I would say there is no way Piazza won't be a Met in 2005, but I also said there is no way Pedro would be Met. No more guarantees from me.