The NY Times’ Lee Jenkins reports in tomorrow’s paper that the New York Mets have made a serious financial proposition to free agent P Pedro Martinez.

The Mets have submitted a contract proposal to Pedro Martínez that is more lucrative than the one offered by the Boston Red Sox, according to a major league executive with knowledge of the discussions.

In making a run at Martínez, the Mets are among the first teams to put their cash on the table for a premium player. The Red Sox have offered Martínez a two-year guaranteed contract worth $25.5 million with an easily attainable third-year option. The Mets countered late Sunday with a three-year guaranteed contract worth approximately $38 million with a vesting option for a fourth year. Neither the Mets nor Martínez’s agent Fernando Cuza would confirm or deny the offer.

With the offer, the Mets have conveyed that they are serious about signing Martínez and want to make an impact in the 2005 season. Although there is obvious skepticism as to why Martínez would leave a World Series champion to play for the Mets, who barely avoided finishing in last place for the third year in a row, there are also indications that he is considering the idea. Martínez has previously had success in the National League, coming up with the Los Angeles Dodgers and establishing himself in Montreal, where he won the first of his three Cy Young awards.

The Red Sox indicated that they would not change their initial offer to Martínez until they knew there was competition. Now, the 33-year-old Martínez has something to take back to Boston, whether the Mets are just a bargaining chip or a legitimate destination.