As it is looking more and more like a certainty that Mike Pelfrey will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the 2012 season, it is time to wonder if the start that Pelfrey made on April 21 was the last time that we will see him in a New York Mets uniform.
It seemed as if Pelfrey had figured things out through the early part of the year. He looked good in his first three starts of the season. Interestingly enough, the only times that Pelfrey has posted an ERA below 3.75 have been in even numbered years. 2008 and 2010 were Pelfrey’s two best years in the majors and 2012 was looking like it could be a good year for Pelfrey.
Last winter Pelfrey was a non-tender candidate and he will likely be one again this year as he will be due a raise from the $6.8 million that he was making this season. The Mets are not going to give him more than $7 million as he comes back from Tommy John surgery and rightly so. It would make a lot of sense for the Mets to non-tender Pelfrey this winter.
The team will certainly look into bringing their former first round pick back next year at a much lower salary. This could present the Mets with a chance to sign Pelfrey for a few years at a much lower salary than he would have cost them otherwise. However, other teams will certainly have an interest in Pelfrey too.
One of the key factors in the decision to bring back Pelfrey next year will likely be the progression of Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia. If two of these pitchers prove that they are ready for the majors then the Mets might choose to let Pelfrey move on.
It has certainly been an up and down career for the big right-hander and the next time Mets fans see him on the mound, Pelfrey might be wearing an unfamiliar jersey.