One year and one day ago the Mets announced the trade and signing of Johan Santana, giving them a legit ace for the first time and a long time.
This year, the team inked the other lefty in the rotation as the Mets signed Oliver Perez for three-years, $36 million.
Much like Santana, general manager Omar Minaya was willing to play the waiting game, especially after seeing an ice cold free agent market. Instead of bidding against themselves – a classic Scott Boras tactic – Minaya stood fast until Perez was willing to take the Mets offer.
Of course, that didn’t stop the Mets from looking at other options like Derek Lowe, who proved to be too expensive, and Randy Wolf, Ben Sheets, and Jon Garland, if Perez went elsewhere.
Although some in the Mets organization preferred Lowe, Minaya’s first choice was the 27 year-old lefty who went 10-7 with a 4.22 ERA last season.
He now joins a staff with Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and either newly signed Tim Redding, rehabbing free agent Freddy Garcia, or rookie Jon Niese. Former ace, Pedro Martinez seems to now be off the radar.
The move also means the Mets may not be able to afford signing a high ticket outfielder like Manny Ramirez or Bobby Abreu, both of whom would have been on the radar if the Mets couldn’t re-up Perez.