Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pedro Should Not Be Back With the Mets

Yesterday ESPN 1050 am reported in its blog that Buster Olney said there is “no chance” that the Mets resign Pedro Martinez. Pedro, who pitched for the Dominican Republic in the WBC throwing 6 shut out innings over two games, had great control and showed the ability to strikeout hitters on the surprisingly good Netherlands team.

The combination of Pedro’s performance in the WBC, and the struggles of Livan Hernandez, Freddy Garcia, and Jonathon Niese, along with the injury slowed Tim Redding has led to speculation that the Mets may, and should bring back Pedro.

However, as usual, the cry of the masses in the blogosphere is wrong. Not only will the Mets not bring back Pedro, they flat out should not bring him back.

Firstly from a pure financial standpoint Mets ownership is looking to cut payroll, not increase it. Pedro is looking for a guaranteed contract in the neighborhood of something similar to John Smoltz’s contract with Boston, $5 million guaranteed plus $5 million in incentives. Now if the Mets were willing to spend an additional $5 million they wouldn’t spend it on an injury plagued number 5 pitcher, they would have signed Bobby Abreu who took only $5 million from Anaheim.

Additionally the cutting of Duaner Sanchez yesterday was simply a financial decision and saved the Mets about $1.5 million. Ramon Castro who carries a contract of more than $2 million has also been shopped all offseason simply because Mets management feels that Robinson Cancel would do an adequate job backing up Brian Schneider, and would do it at a fraction of the cost.

Last year the Met’s biggest issue was they were forced to overuse their fragile bullpen, and over work led to miserable results. Omar did a ton this offseason to reshape the bullpen, however overworking studs like K-Rod and Putz would lead again to another collapse in September.

What the Mets need out of the number 5 starter is someone that can be counted on to go out there every 5 games and throw 6 innings. Log 30 starts and pitch about 200 innings. Pedro Martinez in his last 3 years for the Mets has averaged 16 starts and less than 90 innings per season. Clearly not the dependency you need from your number 5 starter. The Mets need someone to take the ball and keep them in games all year long. Not an injury liability that has a chance of the occasional Cy Young performance.

In 2008, with the inept Nationals, Tim Redding started 33 games, winning 11, while pitching 182 innings. There is no reason to believe Redding couldn’t approach 15 wins with the Mets offense and defense to help him out. Livan Hernandez split between the Twins and Rockies also started 33 games, winning 13, and pitching 180 innings. Livan is a workhorse, since 1998 he has logged more than 30 starts every single year, and last year was the first time he didn’t pitch more than 200 innings.

Between the two the Mets have a dependable number 5 starter and a long man in the bullpen. The Mets are right to ignore Pedro.

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