His Mets career is far from over. His baseball career is far from over. But, his 2010 season is over and so is part of his 2011 season. He won't be the Opening Day starter next year. That's what the Mets have to figure out.
They need an ace. No team goes into a season without an ace. Even if you're the Astros and Bud Norris is your ace, it's somebody. For the Mets it really is a toss-up at this point. Mike Pelfrey? Jon Niese? R.A. Dickey??
The most obvious answer would be Mike Pelfrey. He looked like an ace at the beginning of this season. He has the "stuff" to be an ace. But if the Mets start a season with their hopes resting on Mikey P. they have issues. He's been inconsistent his entire career and an ace needs to be consistent.
Jon Niese has looked pretty good this year but he is not going to be the ace. It will be his second full season in the big leagues and you can't rely on that to be an ace.
R.A. Dickey seems like a good option. If he's back with the Mets next year he has a good shot at being the ace. But as a knuckleball pitcher it's hard to know how a season is going to turn out.
At this moment I see the Mets going into next season without their ace. They will be waiting for Johan Santana to come back with whatever mix of starting pitchers they can find. That really isn't what I want to see, but that seems to be the Mets way.
Let's Go Mets!