It seems inevitable that the Mets will sign Oliver Perez, and Jon Heyman at SI reports that Omar Minaya's undying love for Pedro Martinez may lead to a contract. I know I've said it before, but it is time to cut ties with Pedro. There's nothing more to say about that possibility. Also, assuming Ollie is signed for $10 million a year and Pedro $4 million (plus incentives?), I'd estimate team payroll to be around $140 million. This just about confirms that no significant upgrades would be made at the corner OF position.
The strategy for the rotation appears to be similar to the corner OF strategy. Why sign an impact player (i.e. Adam Dunn) when you can have Cory Sullivan, Rob Mackowiak, and Angel Pagan? Why acquire a front-line starting pitcher (i.e. Derek Lowe, Ben Sheets, or Javier Vazquez) when you can have Oliver Perez, Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia, and Pedro Martinez? I liked the Redding and Garcia contracts, but only if coupled with a Lowe or Sheets signing. Lowe is now a Brave, and it doesn't seem like Sheets-to-the-Mets is likely.
If the 2009 rotation is Santana-Pelfrey-Perez-Maine-Martinez/Redding/Garcia, it projects to be identical or slightly worse than 2008's:
The projections seem reasonable except Pedro's, which I think is too generous. The bullpen has been upgraded, but not by as much as one would think. The lineup also projects the same or slightly worse than 2008. I'll hold off until the team is finalized before judging Omar Minaya, but at this point it doesn't seem like 2009 Mets will be better than the 2008 Mets.