Many thought it at the time, that when John Maine left that game in Washington after only five pitches that he was also leaving the Mets.
Maine came to the Mets in the Kris Benson deal as a throw-in, but emerged into a viable, productive pitcher. He won 15 games in 2007, but injuries, a weak shoulder and sometimes his attitude helped sabotage him. Maine never regained the form that brought optimism he might develop into something special.
I don’t think the Mets did him any favors last spring and he was poorly handled by Jerry Manuel and Dan Warthen, but Maine also didn’t bring much to the table the past two seasons.
A team weak in pitching, the Mets could attempt to bring him back at a reduced rate, but with the pitching market so thin, he’s liable to test the waters to see what’s out there. There’s no reason why he’d want to stay here anyway.
At one time, Maine represented potential and good things to the Mets – remember that game against the Marlins? – but now he personifies part of what went wrong. He represents unrealized dreams.
Of course, so does Oliver Perez, but the Mets are on the hook to him for $12 million and they have no other choice but to give it one more chance. With Maine, at a much lower figure, why bother?
As far as Dickey is concerned, the Mets will tender him and then work on an extension. They’ll probably want to see if last year was a fluke before giving him a multi-year contract.