Pedro to Pitch in 2009

Word is that Pedro Martinez plans to pitch in 2009. He may as well, since he’s finally healthy.

Now the question: should the Mets bring him back? I think they’d be crazy not to — on a one year contract with heavy incentives.

Currently the Mets have exactly two healthy starters returning to their rotation — Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey. John Maine is SUPPOSED to be healthy by the beginning of spring training. But remember this information comes from the same organization that told us Orlando Hernandez, Moises Alou, and Luis Castillo would be healthy in 2008, and the same people who allowed Ryan Church, Angel Pagan, and various others to return too soon. And yes, the same club that held the belief that a top-notch bullpen arm wouldn’t need to be acquired last offseason because Duaner Sanchez was going to be “ready by the time spring training opens”. Based on all that, I’m not counting on Maine from day one. I’ll pencil him in, with my eraser ready.

With Maine questionable, and two more rotation spots to be filled, it makes sense to bring back Pedro and give him a shot to take the #5 spot. At worst he’ll be, well, a #5 starter. At best he might just have enough left to be a decent #3 — at a bargain price. If the Mets can send a #3-level starter out in their fifth rotation spot, they’ll be doing OK.

Further, I like the idea of others — both veterans and youngsters — being around a competitor and champion such as Pedro Martinez. Not to mention the knowledge he imparts as an unofficial pitching coach.

The question, however, is will Pedro accept an incentive-laden deal. My guess is no — that he’ll find a franchise desperate for his name recognition and get a two-year, guaranteed contract.

Or worse — he’ll get a solid offer from the Yankees to shore up the back end of their rotation.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude November 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm
    Agree, Joe. There have been rumblings that it would be best for Pedro not to come back so the Mets can “turn the page” on the Pedro era – one that has seen the Mets make the postseason just once in 4 years while sporting one of MLB’s heftiest payrolls. It was also suggested Pedro would no longer be interested in coming back to the Mets because his buddy, Guy Conti, is no longer part of the Mets’ coaching staff. However, if Pedro still has interest in playing in Queens again, I’m more than open to the idea of bringing him back. No other team should give him anything beyond a 1-year deal with incentives/options, so the Mets should obviously do the same. Yes, he’s injury prone. Yes, his best days are behind him. Yes, there are cheaper #5 options available. Yes, the Mets haven’t been as successful as we would have liked while Pedro was here. But still, Pedro’s guidance, personality, and experience make him an asset without even picking up a baseball. And I don’t doubt he can still win 10 games again if healthy and motivated. And he wouldn’t cost a draft pick to re-sign, while probably not netting the Mets much if signed elsewhere. I’d love to see him come back and retire as a Met.