4) Pedro Martinez
Just one year after finally winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox, Pedro Martinez became a free agent. He would land in a city he fought hard against for many years. It wasn’t the New York Yankees. It was the other team, the Mets.
Martinez signed a four-year deal with the Mets. In a rotation with fellow future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, things looked like they would turn out well for New York.
In his first year with the club, Martinez was outstanding. He went 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA. Still in his early 30s, the next three years had a chance to be just as amazing if not better.
Injuries took their toll on Martinez. He made 23 starts in 2006 and only five more in 2007. His performance was on the decline. In 2008, Martinez gave the club a 5.61 ERA in 20 starts.
Clearly not the same star he was in the past, it looked like the Mets weren’t going to get the most out of this signing.
I debated where Martinez belonged on this list. His numbers, at their best, were worthy of going ahead of Colon. Overall, at 32-23 with a 3.88 ERA, he was as solid as many other free agents the team picked up over the years.
The asterisk Martinez gets relates to how much time he missed. Had he managed to stay healthy, he may have crept into the top three free agent starting pitching signings made by the Mets.
Instead, he sits at number four with the question of “what if?”