Phillies and Martinez Getting Close?
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.
Shane Victorino won the NL Final Vote, which means he is headed to St. Louis next week.