(Long Island, NY) When the New York Mets signed right handed pitcher Pedro Martinez in the winter of 2004 to a four-year $53 million dollar contract, speculation was that it was a two-year investment with an added two with a gamble. After an abundance of injuries in just year two, the Mets are getting short-changed even worse. On Saturday, Mets General Manager Omar Minaya announced that Martinez has a torn rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder and will undergo surgery, which will put him on the shelf until after next year’s All-Star break.
A quick recap of his woes this summer is anything but quick. He missed the majority of Spring Training with an arthritic big right toe. Then he had trouble with his right hip and his right calf. After he was shelled in Atlanta recently, the team announced he had a tear in his left calf, with him being shut down for the season. Then the announcement concerning his shoulder followed.
Heading into the playoffs without Martinez is not a shock. He had his worse season statistically and has been on and off the Disabled List all summer while the Mets have dominated in his absence. He started off strong by going 5-0 in April, but basically disappeared after that.
Martinez had two long spells on the DL over the course of the season. He missed practically two full months prior to the latest maladies. He had 23 starts, going 9-8 with a 4.48 ERA. Not exactly what you would expect from your supposed number one starter.
For what its worth, signing Martinez did help the Mets in many other ways other than wins and losses on the field. The team needed an identity after struggling for three seasons. They had become a farce under former manager Art Howe and the regrettable Scott Kazmir trade. A big splash was needed and Pedro had talent, pizzazz and charm. He became the face of the franchise and put them back on the map.
How much him being on the Mets went into consideration in obtaining other big names is debatable. But Carlos Beltran and Billy Wagner came afterwards and having Martinez in the fold could not have hurt. It proved the Mets were serious about winning in the present and were not afraid to spend money to do so.
If his career is in jeopardy, then at least he has done part of his job. Martinez did deliver a winner, with the Mets finishing above .500 in his first year and winning the National League East in year two. He may not have been a big part of the team this season, but his mere presence gave them a boost the day he was signed.