So yeah....At this point, numerous sources have indicated that Pedro Martinez is a virtual lock to sign with the Mets for 4 years and the ridiculous sum of $56 million dollars. It hasn't taken long for the Boston beat writers to unleash the poison pens and accuse Martinez of being a selfish mercenary who equates respect with dollar signs, to which SoF says, duh.
To say that this deal is fraught with risk would be a gross understatement. Everybody knows that Martinez already has a serious tear in his labrum (something which plagued Leiter for the past two years), isn't worth much past 100 pitches, and has seen his fastball decline by a good 5 mph over the past three years, despite the fact that he was able to reach 95 on the gun with a relative degree of consistency in September. Then there's his obvious diva repuation, his well documented feud with Mike Piazza, and sensitivity issues (the 'back page' will show no mercy either).
And you know what? I could care less. Pedro Martinez will most likely be rockin' the blue and orange come April, and that's awesome. Omar Minaya put the money where his mouth was, and for once Freddy W. gave him the money and authority to back it up.
The Post's Mike Vaccaro actually sums up my feelings rather nicely. When he's bad (2004), he's still better than anyone the Mets have (now with the added plus of pitching in a pitcher friendly NL park), and when he's good, he's unbelievable. And above all else, he's never boring. He brings people out to the park, he'll cause the beat writers to salivate, and by easily being the best free agent pitcher on the market, lends the Mets an air of credibility and excitement that they haven't seen since Piazza joined up in '98.
It's unquestionable that 56 million dollars is an unbelievably high amount of money to pay a 33 year old pitcher with health issues, and it's totally possible that we could be looking at Mo Vaughn Mk. II. But provided he signs on the dotted line and passes a physical, The Mets have Pedro Martinez and you don't. And how cool is that?