Phillies and Martinez Getting Close?

pedro.jpgThere is a very real chance Pedro Martinez will be in the Phillies rotation after the All-Star break.

The Phillies said today they had not signed the free-agent right-hander to a contract, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had no comment when asked if the team had reached an agreement with Martinez. Amaro also offered no comment when asked if Martinez is headed to Philadelphia for a physical, which is standard procedure before a player signs.

“I’m not talking about Pedro, and I haven’t talked about Pedro,” Amaro said.

But Martinez, 37, told The Associated Press his agent is negotiating with the Phillies.

“The Phillies saw me this past Tuesday in a simulated game and I felt very good with my fastball and all my pitches,” Martinez said. “I feel the best I have for some time.”

Martinez said it is up to the Phillies and his agent to finalize contract details.

Phillies assistant to the general manager Charley Kerfeld watched Martinez throw on Tuesday in a simulated game against a Phillies summer league team in the Dominican Republic. Kerfeld came away impressed – Martinez’s fastball reportedly reached the low 90s, according to reports – that the Phillies have pursued him.

The Phillies have been looking for starting pitching help for most of the season. Their rotation has a 5.03 ERA, which is 15th in the National League. In an important side note, a baseball source told MLB.com tonight that signing Martinez will not prevent the Phillies from continuing their pursuit of Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay in a trade.

The Phillies recently called up right-hander Rodrigo Lopez to replace injured left-hander Antonio Bastardo in the rotation. Bastardo replaced right-hander Brett Myers, who had season-ending hip surgery last month

Lopez pitched well in two starts, but left Wednesday’s game against the Reds after the fifth inning because of inflammation in his right shoulder. He said Thursday he felt fine.

The Phillies don’t need a fifth starter again until July 20 against the Cubs because of the All-Star break.

Martinez is a three-time American League Cy Young winner, but went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA with the Mets last season. He last pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

One report said Martinez signed with the Phillies for $4 million, but that is inaccurate. There is no chance the Phillies would sign Martinez for $4 million — unless that $4 million is prorated.

Has Martinez signed? Amaro said no.

Will he sign? I think he will.

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Shane Victorino won the NL Final Vote, which means he is headed to St. Louis next week.

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21 Comments

If Ruben Amaro wants to lose all his (so far) good reputation with, and love from, Phillie fans than by all means sign Pedro. They will both be laughing stocks in their respective positions. Signing Martinez is beyond desperation.

I’ve never understood their interest from the start. If they are looking for someone who can no longer get ML hitters out, why not just call Kyle Kendrick back up?

There is perhaps an eye towards including Happ in a trade for Halladay, and thus having Pedro attempt to fill out the 5th starter spot instead of whatever minor leaguer we like on a given day. If not, this is pretty stupid. They’d better start him off in AAA.

If this is true, I believe it to be a precursor to a deal for Halladay. Happ goes to Jays in a package and helps keep Drabek and/or Knapp out of the deal. Phillies rotation becomes: Halladay, Hamels, Blanton and the hottest two in the second half between Moyer, Lopez and Pedro. The remaining pitcher moves to long relief and becomes insurance should there be an injury.

If they do this, they effectively end their bid for Halladay. You really think the Phils are gonna spend 4mil on Pedro and 15 on Halladay? I know there’s no cap in baseball, but Ruben said there’s a limit on how much they can spend. The Martinez signing would effectively turn Ruben Amaro into Ruben Wade. Dreams of Chad Ogea and Andy Ashby keep recurring when I sign Pedro and Phils in the same sentence.

This might not help the rotation much, but if we ever get in a bench clearing brawl we now have someone who can take out the opposing team’s older coaches.

It clearly does have EVERYTHING to do with the Halladay deal. In one hand, you sign Pedro and you tell the Jays OK we arent going to give away everything because we have a plan B. In the other hand, you say OK we will throw in Happ because Pedro will be the 5th starter. So to say it has nothing to do with Halladay is such a dumb statement to make. And finkbomb, I agree and if we need a midget for the pennant race im sure martinez knows just the guy.

This has nothing to do with the Halladay bid. In fact, as I suggested, it might be a prelude to a Halladay deal. Either way, the Phillies are going to pay 2.5 MM max for Pedro, as Todd pointed out, and that’s hardly a dent in a big market team like the Phillies.

Phylan, I remember when I first started watching the Phils. Except it was July 1993, not Oct 2008. Glad you finally got on the bandwagon LOL

Is that a joke? I’ve been watching the Phillies since I was six years old. I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

Can we change the subject to how bad Jamie Moyer is? ERA over 6 at the All-Star break, wowowowowow.

He got someone out, it’s down to 5.99! Take him out! Take him out!

zach58: YES, the problem is he has stretches of effectiveness that convince people (Dubee and Manuel included) that he’s rounding a corner. But in a rotation which is worst in the league at HR/9, he gives up the most, almost two a game. Defense-independent ERA is 5.69, which is just abysmal, and he puts about one and a half baserunners on per inning. The problem is, even if we acquire Halliday, he will always have a spot in the rotation, because not only are we paying him a fair amount this year, he’s under contract for the next as well.

The way he’s pitching I could see him losing his spot, despite the money they’re paying him. I mean, they ate the Eaton and Jenkins contracts when it was obvious they had to. And Moyer has value riding the bench because of his knowledge/preparation/mentorship. They could turn him into a bench coach maybe, keep paying him but free up a roster spot. God at least I hope they could.

I hope you’re right, but I don’t see it happening.

lol he could get the win tonight despite giving up 6 runs in 5 innings

Pedro pitching in the low 90s can still win games in MLB, especially in the NL. Last year he got injured and never pitched effectively after that. Now he is 100% healed and his arm is well-rested. He only has to pitch half a season. I liked Pedro when he was on the Redsox. If Ruben and our scouts think he has the stuff to help us win our second WSC in a row, I’ll trust their judgement.

Come on. The Phils want to get Martinez AND Halladay!?

Leave something for the rest of us, huh?

Not that the Rays have the money, but if you guys sign both of those pitchers it will just make it that much more difficult to beat you in the World Series this year. ;)
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

erich, it’s easy to like the Pedro of the Red Sox; he was a HOF pitcher. Probably the best in the league at the time. But the Pedro I remember is the guy who couldn’t get past the fifth inning for the Mets. He may be healed up but he puts way too much strain on his arm and he will hurt himself again, IMO. He is the opposite of guys like Clemens and Halladay who rely on their lower body for velocity and control. He’s an arm pitcher with a kind of whippy release. He looks to be out of game shape (fat even) and that will put further strain on his arm. I don’t like it, but if it’s to replace the likes of Lopez, what the hell. It still doesn’t solve the problem of replacing the higher spot in the rotation that has been missing since Myers went down.

You said it, raysfanboy, not us. LOL!

Say what you want about Moyer….they don’t call him The Ageless Wonder for nothing….still has the most wins on the team – on track for same as last season at 16. This TEAM still has the same magic and I am enjoying watching it happen ONE MORE TIME!

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