After this season, not only will Pedro Martinez be a free agent, but Orlando Hernandez and Oliver Perez as well. It’s no secret that Oliver Perez wants to play for San Diego so he can be closer to home. On Friday, the Mets exchanged arbitration figures with Perez and the two parties were $2 million dollars apart. That’s a huge chasm even in today’s inflated market.
While the Mets have unsuccessfully scrambled to add a top of the rotation starter all off season long, their bigger problem really emerges next off season.
When you consider that neither Phil Humber or Mike Pelfrey are projected to be no better than number 3 or 4 starters, you have to wonder how the Mets allowed themselves to get into this precarious position.
As of today, here is a glimpse of what the Mets rotation would like in 2009 when we open Citi Field…
1. John Maine
2. Mike Pelfrey
3. Phil Humber
4. (fill in the blank)
5. (fill in the blank)
Here are the leading pitchers who MIGHT be available next off season…
1. Mike Mussina
2. Andy Pettitte
3. C.C. Sabathia
4. Ben Sheets
5. Derek Lowe
6. Mark Mulder
It makes you wonder how their hasn’t been an even greater urgency to secure a talent like Johan Santana or Erik Bedard, especially when you consider their is no help on the farm.
If Oliver Perez, who has Scott Boras as his agent, has his mind set on playing on the West Coast, not signing a top of the rotation starter this off season will haunt the organization for years and years to come.
Top of the rotation starters hardly ever make it to free agency. They usually become available when a team can no longer afford to pay them, or are in decline and have huge contracts. Sometimes you have a very rare occurrence when a true ace becomes available who is younger than 30 years old and left handed. It’s times like these when a team should pounce.
If Omar thinks things are tough now, wait until next year…