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Pedro Martinez Will Return … Mets Still Need Starting Pitching

Pedro Martinez

Put aside all the speculation about Pedro Martinez’s great career being over.  Although Martinez is recovering from an invasive surgery on this throwing shoulder, he promises to come back and pitch for the Mets midway through the 2007 season. 

This is great news for the New York Mets, who, if Martinez had decided to call it a career, might’ve lost both of their top starters in 2006.  With Tom Glavine still deciding between the Mets and the Braves, New York GM Omar Minaya would’ve had to scramble to come up with two more starters if Martinez and Glavine had both departed. 

Pedro Martinez is 35-years-old, so he likely has several more seasons of great pitching left in his tank; the question is, how long does he want to keep pitching? 

Martinez appeared to answer that question, indirectly, in a recent interview saying that “the rehabilitation process is better than expected” and “I’m not going to make any changes in [the way I pitch].  In other words, barring injury, Pedro is likely going to pitch for at least 2 more seasons. 

This however, does not completely solve the starting pitching issues that GM Omar Minaya must deal with.  If Tom Glavine comes back, the Mets may have enough pitchers as it is, to play well until Martinez returns in June-July.  If however, Glavine chooses Atlanta, the Mets will lose Martinez for half a year, Glavine, and another starter — veteran Steve Trachsel, who is a free agent. 

Sure, at team with plenty of offense can probably stay afloat with a starting rotation of youngsters — John Maine, Orlando Hernandez (the only senior), Oliver Perez, Brian Bannister, and Alay Soler — but I don’t think that’s the route the Mets want to take.  With the Winter Meetings looming, I’m sure that signing a starter or dealing for a veteran arm is near the top of Omar Minaya’s list of priorities. 

Meanwhile, Mets fans are left to hope that Pedro Martinez won’t suffer a setback.

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