Pedro Martinez Out: Livan Hernandez In

Joe NoaCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2009

New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya signed Livan Hernandez to a minor league deal Saturday. The deal is worth $1 million and will compete with Jonathan Niese, Tim Redding, and Freddy Garcia for the team’s fifth rotation spot.

Are you kidding me? A person can get paid a million dollars for playing in the minors?

Baseball has been good to Hernandez. He was the MVP of both the NLCS and World Series in 1997 for the Florida Marlins. He is capable of starting 30-plus games a year.

This past season Hernandez had a 13-11 record and a six-plus ERA.

The 22-year-old Niese is a longshot to make the rotation. Niese welds a nasty 12-to-6 curveball. His problem is pitch selection. Niese’s velocity only goes up to around 88 mph.

He is not ready since he needs to deliver the curveball the same way he throws his fastball. 2010 will be better suited for the young Niese.

Ultimately, I believe Freddy Garcia will win the spot. If Garcia is healthy and fully recovered, he can very well be a second stopper or ace on a young but strong Mets pitching staff.

Garcia has some wicked stuff and knows what it takes to win a game.

Now that Hernandez has been signed, it looks like Pedro Martinez is no longer in the mix.

That's too bad. I still believe Pedro has gas in the tank and the right attitude to teach young pitchers how to have fun and look mean at the same time. I felt Martinez deserved another year with the Mets, but this is business.

I wish Pedro all the best. He means a lot to Mets fans and the team’s organization. Martinez brought the Mets to respectability again.

This going to be a fun Spring Training for the Mets but Martinez most likely won’t be around to share it with them. I hope Pedro gets a statue and placed in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field.