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Good bet that something’s wrong with Pedro

The Mets have a pretty glaring hole in that number five starter slot. Pedro Martinez is still available for the taking. Mets GM Omar Minaya loves Pedro. Mets fans love Pedro. The front office has a history (usually) of being very cognizant of what the fans want. So that equation should equal Pedro back in Queens, right?

That this hasn’t happened yet, or if it doesn’t happen after Tim Redding struggles in Pittsburgh on Thursday, is probably a good indicator that Pedro isn’t physically right. Because if he was, given Minaya’s infatuation with the player and his tendency to jump at an available commodity that he cherishes, Pedro would be in the Mets rotation, $5 million a year or otherwise.

Ollie Perez struggled mightily (maybe not a strong enough word) before landing on the DL, and a setback in his rehab means he’s still weeks away from returning. They gave Jon Niese a shot early in May, but after a nice outing against the Pirates, he was ripped by the Braves and sent back down. Redding pitched well in his first try in LA, but has been vintage Redding over his past two starts (8.2 IP, 13 ER, 2 L) and more of the same should be expected. Plus there’s the curious case of Livan Hernandez, who has shockingly been pretty damn good in five of his last six (3.03 ERA, 4-2 team record) . The Mets shouldn’t be banking on that to continue.

So why not Pedro? He couldn’t be worse that Ollie or Redding or Niese, right? Teammates all love the guy so he wouldn’t be causing any dreaded chemistry problems. That $5 million price tag isn’t $5 million anymore now that we’re almost a third of the way home. Plenty of Mets fans are begging to see him pitch again - including this one, who, for mostly sentimental reasons, wishes Pedro could get a crack at a postseason with the Mets, since his signing was a huge driving force behind the Mets becoming relevant again.

The risk of signing him doesn’t appear to be that high, so we’ll take a guess that it’s either the shoulder or the toe or the hammy or something that is probably still jacked up (or if it isn’t now, is on the verge of disintegrating). Or maybe Omar has a trade in the works for more of a frontline starter (Peavy? Oswalt? Other?).

But if someone does sign him, hopefully it’s not the Phillies. Don’t wanna have to root against the guy.