Belson: Mets ponder costs of Martinez and Santana

From Ken Belson at the New York Times on April 2, 2013, with mention of SABR member Gary Gillette:

Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana came to the Mets with high hopes, reputations as clubhouse leaders and multiple Cy Young Awards. They had sterling debut seasons that kept their teams in playoff contention, but then both spent long stints on the disabled list.

Martinez’s tenure with the Mets ended in 2008, after he was paid $52 million over four years and appeared in just 79 games. On Tuesday, Santana had surgery on his left shoulder, which will keep him out for the season and all but end his time with the Mets. Without throwing a pitch, Santana will receive $25.5 million this year and probably another $5.5 million next year when the Mets buy out the remainder of his $137.5 million contract. He will not have pitched at all in two of his six seasons in Queens.

Their lavish paydays and damaging injuries provide a simple, and cautionary, tale about baseball: Be careful what you pay pitchers.

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Originally published: April 3, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2013.