Nine years ago today, Pedro Martinez opened Boston's season with a strong seven inning performance in Baltimore against the Orioles. Red Sox fans had no reason to expect anything less from their ace, since he was coming off a two-year stretch over the course of which he struck out nine times as many batters as he walked and kept his ERA under 2.00.
You won't find Pedro on anyone's Opening Day roster this year and nobody expects the righty to pitch like the ace he was a decade ago, but Pedro still has value, so he should have suitors if he wants to sign mid-season.
Pedro seems more likely to sign with a National League team and the Phillies have been linked to him throughout the offseason. Joe Blanton's oblique injury has the NL Champions looking for pitching, but Pedro wouldn't help them now. It takes a while for any player to get into game shape and Pedro's now 38. Even if he were to sign today, he would presumably need at least a month to prepare himself. The Phillies signed Pedro on July 14th last year and he made his 2009 debut about a month later, on August 12th.
That means teams like the Phillies and Mariners that need arms now don't have much reason to call on Pedro at this point. But he would be a good fit for a team looking to add second-half depth, mostly because he can still pitch.
Pedro recovered from an ugly 2008 season and contributed 44.2 solid innings for the Phillies last year, posting a 3.63 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. The early-season rest seemed to help Pedro out, as his average fastball was 88.5 mph – faster last year than in any season since 2004. The Phillies' investment worked last year, so there's no reason to think Pedro can't help someone out in 2010 – it's just not going to happen soon.