That came crumbling down just before Thanksgiving, however, when GM Omar Minaya and Leiter reached an impasse in negotiations on a proposed one-year, $4 million deal. The two sides mutually agreed to step away from the negotiating table just before Thanksgiving and to explore other options, which for the Mets meant Pedro Martinez.
For Leiter, it could mean a return to Miami, where he spent the 1996 and 1997 seasons while helping Florida to its first World Championship. The Marlins were reportedly the highest bidder all along for Leiter's services, offering up an original $6 million deal for next year that trumped the Mets' deal.
Leiter's seven years with the Mets were memorable. He compiled a 95-67 record over 213 starts, averaging a 3.42 ERA over those seasons, and ranks high among many of the Mets' career pitching leaders – Leiter is sixth in games started, sixth in victories and seventh in strikeouts (1,106).