UPDATE: Rumor Denied by a Mets’ spokesman. Drat. I like Pedro stuff. He makes the world a whole lot brighter.
5:20 P.M.: ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the Mets have talked to Pedro Martinez about coming back to pitch in New York. Never mind that he hasn’t started 25 games or thrown 150 innings since his first year with the Mets in 2005, and that he left town a year ago remembered far more as a free agent bust than as a future Hall of Famer.
But it could be all about perception and expectations with Pedro. Bring him in for huge money and he busts and of course the fans in Queens are going to be angry. Bring him in for low, low veteran dollars and he pitches as a fair-to-middlin’ back of the rotation starter and he might be a nice little signing.
Heck, the Mets were reported to be in on Jason Marquis, and I could see Pedro having a more useful season than him.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.