Although the signing of free agent pitcher Tim Redding to a one-year contract may seem very benign, it actually is significant for some current and former Mets. I thought that the Mets could have gotten Redding to sign a minor league deal. But by signing a major league deal, he’s guaranteed to be competing for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
First, the impact of this signing means that Jonathan Niese and Bobby Parnell have a tougher fight to make the major league roster than they did earlier this week. I thought Niese, especially, had a great shot to secure the fifth spot in the rotation out of spring training. And that may still happen. But it won’t be easy. He’ll have to supplant Redding and his $2.25 million major league contract and relegate him to the bullpen. That won’t be easy. Most likely, Niese will start the season in Buffalo and have to work his way to the majors.
Second, the Mets haven’t ruled out Pedro Martinez returning to the Mets. And Pedro wants to come back to the Mets. By signing Redding the Mets have all but eliminated the possibility of Pedro coming back. Pedro likely won’t come back with a minor league contract. And Pedro won’t work out of the bullpen for the Mets. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer not a long reliever.
Let me preface this next paragraph by saying, I think Pedro is great. That said, I don’t want him back again. This is a time where we should look back on Pedro’s four years with the Mets because he won’t be coming back. And that’s okay.
Don’t feel bad for Pedro. He’ll be just fine. He’s made just over $146 million in his career. In his 17 year career, Pedro made about 36% of his money from the Mets over four years. The Mets were extremely generous to Pedro.
Pedro’s Mets career was great in 2005, but a disaster since then. We only saw Pedro in 79 games total as a Met. His record over the four year span was 32-23, not exactly beefing up his Hall of Fame resume. Since 2005 we’ve only seen Pedro in 48 games during the last three years of his contract.
Although it would be nice to see Pedro come back and get a chance to redeem himself for the last three miserable seasons he spent with the Mets, it’s not going to happen. I don’t say farewell to Pedro with the same disdain that Yankees fans said goodbye to Carl Pavano. Pedro was almost always with the team, supporting them from the dugout. You can’t say that he didn’t care, he did.
The bottom line is that you have to be able to be on the field to make a contribution. And Pedro just couldn’t do that. Farewell Pedro, best of luck to you. See you in Cooperstown but it won’t be as a Met.
Flickr photo courtesy of bryce_edwards.