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Vote For Pedro

By Howard Megdal ~ June 17th, 2010. Filed under: Howard Megdal.

When Mike and I discussed a possible return of Pedro Martinez this spring, I said the following conditions would be necessary for it to make sense.

1. The Mets would need to be in contention.

2. The Mets would need to be one starting pitcher short.

The second condition seemed like an obvious one, since if the Mets were, say, 2-3 starting pitchers short, the first condition (contention) was almost certainly not being met.

But here we are in mid-June, and the Mets are certainly in contention (just 0.5 games out of first place), and their rotation appears to be exactly one pitcher short. Johan Santana is pitching well (though his peripherals are cause for concern). Mike Pelfrey and Jonathon Niese have been terrific, as has R.A. Dickey.

But the Mets are so committed to Hisanori Takahashi in the bullpen that they are looking to return John Maine to the rotation. Clearly, there is a spot in dire need of an upgrade.

The big-ticket items, however, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee, will clean out the Met farm system while ensuring that in the former case, the Mets are on the hook for a ton of money to a pitcher through his mid-30s, and in the latter case, the Mets will either be on the hook for a ton of money to a pitcher into his late 30s, or will pay heavily in prospects for a rental.

The secondary items? Ben Sheets and his 4.93 ERA. Kevin Millwood and his 5.16 ERA. Jake Westbrook and his 4.62 ERA. All three will cost the Mets in prospects and all three have injury concerns. No thank you.

Pedro Martinez, meanwhile, won’t cost a single prospect, or a draft pick. He’s coming off of a 2009 where he pitched to a 3.63 ERA, and had 37 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings, against just eight walks. And his numbers were even better, incidentally, until Charlie Manuel recklessly let him throw 130 pitches against the Mets- his ERA was 2.87, with 34 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings.

Pedro obviously isn’t what he once was. But bringing him back bolsters the 2010 pitching rotation without doing any harm to the 2011 team and beyond. For a team stuck between what could be a fleeting pennant run and a brighter future, Martinez certainly seems like the safest possible choice for results today without a loss of possible pieces for tomorrow.

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Howard Megdal is the Editor-in-Chief of The Perpetual Post. He covers baseball, basketball and soccer for Capital New York, MLBTradeRumors.com, New York Baseball Digest and has written for ESPN.com as well as numerous other publications. He is the Poet Laureate for SBNation New York. His book about Jewish baseball players, “The Baseball Talmud,” is available for purchase on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. His next book, "Taking The Field", is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and will publish in May 2011.

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1 Response to Vote For Pedro

  1. RonOK

    I could actually go for this. When I saw a snipet in the paper the other day that the Phillies were discussing a return of Pedro to Phillies, I thought he would be a potential solution to the Mets starting rotation woes — for many of the same reasons you listed above.

    If the Mets remain in contention, I would hope the Mets would show interest in Pedro and I would love to see Pedro extend himself to the Mets.

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