Martinez Might be a Keeper for the Mets

Released on: February 27, 2008, 11:06 am

Press Release Author: Pete Johnson

Industry: Entertainment

Press Release Summary: Pedro Martinez, who has a surgically repaired right shoulder,
wants to stay with the Mets.

Press Release Body: Pedro Martinez almost retired in a Mets uniform. It could have
happened last year, if Martinez, in the midst of a grueling rehabilitation from
shoulder surgery, decided to call it quits rather than endure the pain with no
guarantees. Two weeks into spring training, Martinez, was asked about retiring with
the Mets. However, he\'s expected to sign an extension, perhaps even before his
contract expires at the end of this season.

Martinez is ready to begin the final lap of his 4 year contract that he\'ll get paid
$53-million for. And if he regains his Cy Young form, the Mets most likely would
enter discussions about a new deal before Martinez reaches free agency. Martinez
has openly disclosed his interest in staying with the Mets. However, he prefers to
focus on pitching and to let Omar Minaya bring up the subject with him first.

Martinez says that he would talk if they approached him. He has also indicated that
he\'s very thankful and satisfied with the way the Mets have treated him so far. Even
though the Mets has Martinez\'s respect whether they offered him an extension or not,
he\'ll just have to go somewhere else if they don\'t. Martinez has mentioned that he
wouldn\'t ask them to extend his contract. He\'s just going to wait and fishing the

The Mets would be better off trying to secure Martinez. In the past, the Mets have
relied on personal relationships to help fortify the franchise, whether it was
Minaya\'s aggressive courtship of Martinez in 2004 or COO Jeff Wilpon bringing back
Tom Glavine for the 2007 season with negotiations that involved little more than a
handshake. That could easily happen again with Martinez, as long as he proves
himself to be an elite starter before the All-Star break. The Mets would like to see
the proof first before placing a large wager on his surgically repaired right
shoulder. Minaya says he wants to evaluate Martinez\'s performance before he makes a

The early reviews of Martinez have been excellent. Martinez impressed fans during
yesterday\'s bullpen session with an impressive display of control and surprising
speed. With Wilpon among the spectators, Martinez showed off his curve ball.

Guy Conti was extremely impressed by the session. In addition to being his longtime
friend, Conti is Martinez\'s personal pitching guru, and no one in the organization
knows him better. It was Conti who believed that Martinez would be effective when he
returned last season and he is even more optimistic 6 months later. Conti says that
Martinez is always telling him not to wish him luck but rather wish him good health
and he\'ll make his own luck.

Martinez will make his first start March 6th against the Nationals in Viera. The
date is unusual because it\'s one of the Mets\' few night games. Martinez seems to be
welcoming the opportunity without worrying about his upcoming free agency. He knows
he has to prove that he\'s healthy and worthy of another contract. The Mets probably
needed him more than he thought. Last season was more about survival for Martinez.
However, this year Martinez started a completely different mentality. He has people
believing he could win a 4th Cy Young Award.

by Pete Johnson, staff writer for and

Web Site:

Contact Details: P.O. Box 4665
Los Angeles, CA 90001

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