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Monday, October 1, 2012
Warthen, TC would like Pelf encore

By Adam Rubin

MIAMI -- The bet is Mike Pelfrey departs as a free agent this offseason. Still, the staff would like to see Pelfrey, who underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1, return and potentially work out of the team's bullpen next season.

"I know Terry [Collins] and I are very hopeful that Mike Pelfrey will come back -- whether it be in the bullpen or as a starter," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "We've always contended that he would be a great closer and just go out there with a power sinker and a split. I think we'd see 95 to 97 mph almost every night.

"His beginning of this year was unbelievable. I thought he finally came into his own. I thought the maturity, the nervousness, the little quirks we've seen so much in his career were actually gone. He exorcised them and I was excited about his year. Unfortunately it didn't come to fruition.

"When it comes to cost, we have to find out what we can afford. But I think we would all love to have Mike back."

The rub?

Pelfrey made $5.6875 million this season and is arbitration eligible. So the Mets have to cut him loose in December; otherwise, they would have to pay him at least 80 percent of this year's salary. Once Pelfrey is cut loose -- which is nearly guaranteed to happen -- the Mets can sign him for any price. But Pelfrey also would be free to sign anywhere.

And Pelfrey's agent is Scott Boras.

"I know," Warthen said.