SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Pedro Martinez says that if his right shoulder doesn’t return to full strength, he would consider retiring.

Martinez missed the latter part of the season for the New York Mets with a calf injury and had surgery Oct. 5 to repair a torn rotator cuff. He isn’t expected to resume throwing off a mound until June.

Thus far, his recovery has gone well.

“It’s getting better and progress is above all what is hoped for,” Martinez told The Associated Press on Friday. “To go back I have to recover. I have to be healthy. But if God doesn’t want that, then I would have to think about giving it all up.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is working on flexibility but said he “won’t put his hand on a ball” until at least March.

Martinez said 2006 was the toughest season of his career. He went 9-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 23 starts.

“It’s going to be a bitter winter because I am going to have to do a lot of work,” he said. “The pain I feel was one of the worst I have felt with any injury in my career.”

Martinez needs two strikeouts to reach 3,000. The Mets owe him $14 million next year and $11.5 million in 2008.

Maddux wins yet another Gold Glove

NEW YORK – Greg Maddux won his 16th Gold Glove on Friday, tying the record shared by pitcher Jim Kaat and third baseman Brooks Robinson.

Maddux, traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, has won the NL pitching award each year since 1990 except for 2003, when Atlanta’s Mike Hampton interrupted the streak.

San Francisco shortstop Omar Vizquel won his 11th Gold Glove, his second in a row in the NL after the nine straight he earned with the Cleveland Indians from 1993-01. He is two shy of the record for shortstops, held by Ozzie Smith.

Atlanta center fielder Andruw Jones won his ninth consecutive Gold Glove. Among outfielders, he trails only Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays (12 each) and Al Kaline and Ken Griffey Jr. (10 apiece).

St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen won his seventh Gold Glove, his first since 2004. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols won for the first time, as did New York Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran.

Houston catcher Brad Ausmus won his third award, his first since 2002. San Diego center fielder Mike Cameron won for the third time – he earned Gold Gloves in the AL with Seattle in 2001 and 2003.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson won with Arizona after gaining the honor for the first time with Toronto last year.

Liriano to have surgery, likely to miss next year

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Twins pitching sensation Francisco Liriano will have major surgery on his left elbow and is likely to miss the 2007 season.

Liriano, who went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA as a rookie, will have Tommy John surgery on Monday in California, the team said Friday.

The ligament transplant procedure usually takes at least a year for recovery.

Baseball owners approve labor contract

NEW YORK – Baseball owners unanimously approved their new labor contract on Friday during a telephone conference call.

The five-year deal, announced at the World Series last week, runs until December 2011.

“Unanimous approval by the clubs is yet another indicator of the peace and prosperity that exists in the industry,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “This agreement gives us a great opportunity to continue to grow the game.”

The executive board of the players’ association has not yet decided on the union’s approval process.

AP-ES-11-03-06 1440EST

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