Pedro to Mets: 'Call me, I'm available'
Martinez expresses preference for New York, but open to others
Pedro Martinez, pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, said on Monday that the Mets should call him or his agent if they would like to add a starting pitcher to their rotation.
Martinez's comments, made after the Dominican Republic's off-day workout in Carolina, Puerto Rico, appeared in three New York newspapers: the Daily News, Post and Newsday.
"If they want a fifth starter, I've been there," Martinez said. "I don't know how much they want me, but I'm available. That's all I can say.
"But at the same time, I'm available for every team out there."
Martinez, who met with Mets general manager Omar Minaya in January, said he would not be contacting his former team, for which he played the past four seasons before becoming a free agent this offseason. He said he has not spoken with Minaya recently.
"Yeah, I would like to be back [with the Mets]," he said. "But I'm not just going to follow the Mets. They have their own plans and they have their own thought process. "Yes, I would love to go [to Citi Field] and hopefully have the same success I had at Shea. Shea was a great stadium for me. I hope the new Shea pretty much follows up on the old one.
"But I have my goals and I have my things that I want to achieve in life. If it's not with the Mets, it will be with someone else."
Candidates for the fifth spot in the Mets' rotation include veterans Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia and Livan Hernandez and rookie Jonathon Niese. Redding allowed five runs in one-third of an inning against the University of Michigan on Sunday, while the other three have combined to allow 14 earned runs in 14 1/3 Grapefruit League innings.
Martinez pitched three scoreless innings in the Dominican Republic's 3-2 loss to the Netherlands on Saturday, throwing strikes on 31 of 39 pitches and striking out four -- all of them swinging.
The Mets have maintained that they are not interested in re-signing Martinez. "Pedro is a Hall of Fame pitcher and one of the greatest pitchers of our time, but I feel very confident in the people we have in camp that can get the job done," manager Jerry Manuel told the Post on Monday. "Do you like Pedro? Of course, you love Pedro. But you have to be fair to the people that we have here."
Martinez's agent, Fernando Cuza, would not comment on whether any club has made an offer for his client, the Daily News reported.
"Somebody is going to wind up with one heck of a pitcher," said Dominican Republic manager Felipe Alou.
Bobbie Dittmeier is an editor/producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.