PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though pleased by how he has been treated by the Mets and clearly intent on extending his career beyond this season, Pedro Martinez will not approach the team about a contract beyond 2008 -- though he would be willing to discuss the matter if the club broached the topic.
Martinez said as much on Tuesday morning after returning to camp following an excused absence after going to Miami on Monday for medical tests. He didn't specify the reason for the tests, though he did say that the results were negative. He is ready to resume his personal workout schedule, which, he said, is to have him ready to make his exhibition-game debut on March 6.
Martinez understands that any discussion of a new or extended contract probably wouldn't begin until he had pitched well into the season and provided proof that his body is sound and, at age 36, able to withstand the rigors of regular work in a rotation.
Manager Willie Randolph has said that the club's expectation is for Martinez to take a regular turn, every fifth day. That will be in contrast to how Martinez was used two seasons ago and in September 2007 following his return from shoulder surgery in October 2006.
Working at his own pace, Martinez has yet to throw batting practice. But two years ago, when his schedule was dictated, to some degree, by how his damaged toe responded to throwing on a mound, he didn't throw a BP session before pitching in game circumstances.
Though he identified March 6 as the date for his first appearance, that date seems subject to change if only because the Mets are scheduled to play the Nationals in Viera that day, and Martinez's appearances usually are limited to Port St. Lucie or Jupiter, which is significantly closer than Viera. Moreover, the club has been inclined to have Martinez pitch in televised games. The March 6 game isn't scheduled to air, but the games of March 3, 5, 7 and 9 are.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.