The Mets have submitted a contract proposal to Pedro MartÃnez that is more lucrative than the one offered by the Boston Red Sox, according to a major league executive with knowledge of the discussions.
In making a run at MartÃnez, the Mets are among the first teams to put their cash on the table for a premium player. The Red Sox have offered MartÃnez a two-year guaranteed contract worth $25.5 million with an easily attainable third-year option. The Mets countered late Sunday with a three-year guaranteed contract worth approximately $38 million with a vesting option for a fourth year. Neither the Mets nor MartÃnez’s agent Fernando Cuza would confirm or deny the offer.
With the offer, the Mets have conveyed that they are serious about signing MartÃnez and want to make an impact in the 2005 season. Although there is obvious skepticism as to why MartÃnez would leave a World Series champion to play for the Mets, who barely avoided finishing in last place for the third year in a row, there are also indications that he is considering the idea. MartÃnez has previously had success in the National League, coming up with the Los Angeles Dodgers and establishing himself in Montreal, where he won the first of his three Cy Young awards.
The Red Sox indicated that they would not change their initial offer to MartÃnez until they knew there was competition. Now, the 33-year-old MartÃnez has something to take back to Boston, whether the Mets are just a bargaining chip or a legitimate destination.