Inside Pitch: Maine as Opening Day starter?

If the Mets don't re-sign left-hander Tom Glavine, and with Pedro Martinez not available until July, it is conceivable that John Maine could be the Opening Day starter.

Glavine has a player option for $7.5 million that must be exercised by Nov. 10; the team has a Nov. 20 deadline to pick up its $14 million option.

"Hopefully it will be resolved somewhere around then," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "Right now, we're focusing on our guys, and Glavine is one of our top priorities."

Neither side is expected to pick up its option, but instead they probably will seek a compromise position.

The Mets denied a published report that suggested they were negotiating a two-year, $25 million contract with Glavine.

Glavine will be 41 next season, but he has avoided the arm injuries associated with power pitchers. The circulatory problem that sidelined him at the end of the season is not an issue.

Glavine said his family wants him to pitch next year in his adopted hometown of Atlanta.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • LHP Tom Glavine remains unsigned. His family wants him to pitch next season in Atlanta. Glavine has a player option for $7.5 million that must be exercised by Nov. 10; the team has a Nov. 20 deadline to pick up its $14 million option. The sides are expected to meet in the middle.

  • RHP Guillermo Mota was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's toughened drug policy, but it is a penalty that will not preclude him entering the free agent market. The Mets were interested in bringing him back, but GM Omar Minaya said the team could reconsider.

  • CF Carlos Beltran became the second Mets outfielder to win the Gold Glove Award. Tommie Agee was the first in 1970.

  • Third base coach Manny Acta, who interviewed for the managerial positions in San Francisco, Washington and Texas, will now talk with Oakland.

  • 1B Carlos Delgado underwent successful surgery on his left elbow. Since the end of the season, Delgado also had surgery on his right wrist. The Mets said he would be ready for spring training.

  • The Mets have not begun negotiations yet with manager Willie Randolph about a contract extension. Randolph's contract expires after the 2007 season. General manager Omar Minaya said it is an issue that will be resolved in the offseason.

  • RHP Mike Pelfrey, who was pitching in the Arizona Fall League, was shut down. GM Omar Minaya said both Pelfrey and RHP Phil Humber are bothered by "aches and pains," and described the move to shut down Pelfrey as precautionary.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Mets outfielders to win a Gold Glove Award: Carlos Beltran in 2006 and Tommie Agee in 1970.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I can't tell you how many games Carlos saved for us this year with his glove and his arm." -- Manager Willie Randolph.