Pedro to the Mets?

The Mets may soon dive into the Pedro Martinez sweepstakes, spurred by a Thanksgiving dinner between GM Omar Minaya and the free-agent righthander. <P>

Martinez and Minaya met on Thursday in the Dominican Republic and most likely discussed the prospect of Martinez pitching for the 'other' New York team, just months after Martinez was so exasperated with the Yankees that he called them his "daddy" in a post-game press conference.

The possibility of Pedro coming home to "daddy" still exists. Martinez, who was 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA for the Red Sox this season, met with owner George Steinbrenner earlier this month at Tampa's Legends Field for a session of getting acquainted with The Boss.

Naturally, the Red Sox are also interested in bringing Martinez back to their World Championship team. Following the Steinbrenner visit, Boston already improved upon their original two-year, $25 million offer – one that the Mets would likely have to one-up by guaranteeing a third year in a potential contract.

In the case a team does extend that third year to Martinez, the Red Sox are already beginning to examine fall-back options, including Carl Pavano and Matt Clement.

While the Mets have already signed righthander Kris Benson to a three-year, $25.5 million contract this offseason, the club also recently came to a mutual agreement with free-agent pitcher Al Leiter to step away from the negotiating table and explore other options. Leiter and the Mets had been locked in a stalemate for weeks concerning a potential one-year contract.

That could wind up providing the flexibility that a Martinez contract might demand of the Mets, who continue to appear primed to deal both Cliff Floyd and Mike Piazza this winter.

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