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- Orioles Agree To Deal With Ariel Miranda
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- Hyun-jin Ryu To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
- Mariners Acquire Welington Castillo From Cubs For Yoervis Medina
- Bruce Chen Announces Retirement
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Pedro Martinez Rumors
Right-hander Pedro Martinez has virtually ruled out a return to the major leagues and says he is on his way to retirement, according to the Associated Press. In an interview that was broadcast today in the Dominican Republic, Martinez said that he has stayed in shape, but not with his eye on a return.
"I keep active because I have not announced my retirement, because that is something that takes time and you have to plan it. Plus, it is something that the Dominican people expected," the three-time Cy Young award-winner said.
Just three weeks ago, Martinez seemed to hint that he was looking to return to baseball and preferably for the Boston Red Sox. However, the Dominican hurler now says that his comments were misinterpreted. Martinez also dropped the Yankees in conversation, but the Bombers probably wouldn't have been interested in him anyway.
Links for Saturday, after Matt Harrison threw his second gem in as many starts…
- A team official told Joel Sherman of The New York Post that the Yankees have no interest in Pedro Martinez even though he's looking to return (Twitter links). The Yankees changed their mind about Carlos Silva after the right-hander agreed to get in shape and pitch in the minors.
- Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com spoke to Russell Martin, who said the Red Sox expressed interest in signing him this offseason but were concerned about his injured hip.
- Rays prospect Chris Archer holds no ill-will towards the Cubs for dealing him, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The right-hander was a part of the deal that brought Matt Garza to Chicago.
- The Yankees did not send a scout to watch Doug Davis' workout yesterday, reports George A. King III of The New York Post.
- In his Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to some executives that said Manny Ramirez's reported PED use may have altered the future of former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes and manager Bob Melvin. Arizona led the NL West for most of the 2008 season, but were knocked out of postseason race when the Dodgers made a late charge after acquiring Manny at the deadline.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick profiled Brett Wallace of the Astros, who was traded three times in the span of 371 days. "The way I choose to look at it, the teams that traded for me all had a plan for me and believed in me," said the first baseman. "But it definitely makes you step back and see the business side of baseball. When you get traded one year out of the draft, it's an eye opener. It doesn't matter how much a team likes you or doesn't like you. Things can change. Things are going to happen, and anyone is touchable."
Free-agent pitcher Pedro Martinez is waiting for a call to help a team win a World Series, writes Joe Brescia of the New York Times. The 39-year-old says that he could get himself into playing shape rather quickly.
"I’m in shape right now and I’m training and I’m playing catch, so getting to full strength would probably take me a month, month and a half, to be on a mound," said the eight-time All-Star.
Martnez was asked if he would choose the Yankees, BoSox, or Phillies if all three teams called and offered the same salary. The vet said that he would probably choose Boston, so that he could retire and enter the Hall of Fame with the same hat. He would consider the Phillies though as he would like to win a championship in the National League.
The right-hander last pitched in 2009 for the Phillies, posting a 3.63 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in nine starts.
The Phillies' health issues and the Red Sox' depth makes the two teams logical trade partners, says Nick Cafardo in his newest column for the Boston Globe. The Red Sox have spare infielders and outfielders they could offer Philadelphia to offset the injuries to Chase Utley and Domonic Brown. While the Sox and Phils are already the Vegas favorites to meet in the 2011 World Series, Cafardo wonders if a trade between the two sides could help that matchup happen. Here are the other items of interest from the Globe's Sunday Baseball Notes:
- If the Rangers were willing to eat some salary, a Michael Young deal "could be made" with the Cubs. As we heard this week, the Cubs probably can't afford to take on Young's contract, but, despite his defensive shortcomings, he would make some sense for Chicago at second base.
- Pedro Martinez says he's in good shape and has yet to rule out pitching somewhere in 2011. He thinks it would take him about six weeks to get ready if he were to make a comeback.
- Cafardo cautions that the Red Sox' starting pitching depth isn't as strong as it seems. Given Daisuke Matsuzaka's performance this spring, Cafardo thinks it would be prudent to keep Tim Wakefield around, just in case.
- The Red Sox are seeking a big-league-ready catcher they can keep in Triple-A in case of injury. Cafardo speculates that Rangers backstop Kevin Cash, a player the Sox have "always loved," could be a fit.
- Matt Albers is out of options, making him potential trade bait for the Red Sox. As Cafardo points out, the Sox would rather avoid exposing the right-hander on waivers to a team like the Rays.
- Scott Hatteberg is currently working as a special assistant to Billy Beane in Oakland. Agent Joe Urbon feels that Hatteberg's future could include a job as a manager, a possibility the former Athletic sounds willing to explore. "It’s something I could envision down the road," Hatteberg said. "As a catcher, you’re always involved in so many facets of the game that you get an idea of what it’s like."
After all the drama that surrounded the Red Sox' acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, it's easy to forget that the slugger, who underwent shoulder surgery in October, has been rehabbing all winter. While the team hopes Gonzalez will be good to go on Opening Day, "it seems silly to rush him if he isn’t ready," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. According to Cafardo, Boston's contingency plan could involve playing Lars Anderson for a couple weeks or even pursuing a free agent first baseman. Let's check out the other items of interest from the Globe's Sunday Baseball Notes….
- There's a belief that Pedro Martinez could pitch the final months of the season if, as one American League GM says, he finds "the right fit." Cafardo speculates that the Phillies could be an interesting option if they end up trading Joe Blanton.
- A National League scout says he liked the way Jeremy Bonderman was pitching toward the end of 2010. "I’m really surprised a team hasn’t jumped at him," said the scout. "But some of that is up to the player and the agent, too. If he’s asking for too much, nobody’s going to do it no matter how desperate teams are for pitching."
- There's still a chance that Jarrod Washburn, who sat out the 2010 season, could sign somewhere. However, GMs who spoke to Cafardo are under the impression that the lefty wouldn't return unless he could land a "fairly sizable" Major League contract, which seems unlikely.
Friday Night Links..
- Pedro Martinez isn't working out and a comeback is looking less and less likely, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. If Martinez does return in 2011, it'll be on a second-half deal again.
- Jeff Moorad's stake in the Diamondbacks is finally close to being sold, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. Moorad parted ways with the D'Backs more than two years ago to lead a group that purchased the Padres.
- Since Astros owner Drayton McLane announced in November he was going to put the team up for sale, he has been purposely tight-lipped about the process, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Even though McLane has kept things quiet, McTaggart writes that there is probably plenty of negotiating going on behind the scenes.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier remembers Boston's pursuit of Andy Pettitte in 2003.
Rocco Baldelli tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that, despite having to retire at age 29, he considers himself fortunate to have had as much time as he did in the majors. "I have no regrets," Baldelli said. "I played major league baseball. I got to the big leagues and I had some moments I'll never forget." Cafardo opens this week's column by wondering what might have been, had Baldelli stayed healthy throughout his career. The Globe writer also shares a handful of hot stove notes….
- Although recent trade rumors involving Grady Sizemore and Fausto Carmona were quickly shot down, Cafardo says if both players are healthy and playing well this year, they could be "major trade deadline chips."
- Four teams are in discussions with agent Jim Masteralexis, regarding client Manny Delcarmen. We heard earlier this month that the Rays had interest in the ex-Red Sox, so they're likely one of the four.
- One executive told Cafardo that he's surprised Lastings Milledge is still available. While the exec's team doesn't need another outfielder, he argued that "you just don't give up" on a talent like Milledge.
- Scott Schoeneweis, who hopes to play this season, is being considered by the Diamondbacks.
- Friends of Pedro Martinez say the right-hander has yet to get pitching out of his system. Pedro will turn 40 later this year, and didn't pitch in the bigs in 2010, but he had success for the Phillies in 2009, compiling a 3.63 ERA, 7.5 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9 in nine starts.
- Cafardo speculates that Boston could be a good fit for Jeremy Bonderman on a minor league deal.
- Pedro Martinez told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he hasn't decided whether to pitch in the majors again or retire. The three-time Cy Young Award winner last pitched in 2009, when he made a late-season comeback for the Phillies.
- Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com wonders if Chris Young is the top option remaining in the Mets' price range, now that the Royals have agreed to a deal with Jeff Francis. Mets executive J.P. Ricciardi told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that Young "could be a nice fit" for the team.
- The Rays seem to like Vladimir Guerrero more than Manny Ramirez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Heyman also lists his best and worst deals of the offseason.
- Jim Thome, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Twins today, would like to play at least two more seasons, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian takes a position-by-position look at the Indians' roster.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo says it's been frustrating and disappointing not to add top starting pitchers this offseason, according to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.
3:35pm: Martinez sounded far from returning in an interview with Justo de la Cruz at the Domincan paper El Dia today (links in Spanish), saying he's very happy to be away from the stress and travel of a player's life, which is to say, "I'm realizing what it is to be a normal person." An expanded version of the interview in the Puerto Rican paper Primera Hora further lowered expectations of a return in 2011, as Martinez added, "It's most likely that I don't return to active baseball… but honestly I don't know if I'll definitively announce my retirement." ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas pegged Martinez's odds of returning at 30% in a tweet this morning, but in light of the pitcher's quotes even that seems optimistic. – Nick Collias
8:29am: The Phillies haven’t ruled out adding a third Cy Young Award winner to a rotation that already includes Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro Jr. inquired about Pedro Martinez’s availability at last week's Winter Meetings, according to Christian Red of the New York Daily News. It’s unclear whether the Phils are seriously interested in the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
Martinez, now 39, said at David Ortiz’s celebrity golf tournament that he’s open to pitching in 2011. He missed the 2010 season, but didn’t rule out a return to the major leagues. Back in 2009, the right-hander joined the Phillies for part of the season and posted a 3.63 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 44 2/3 innings.
Links in Spanish from where winter is just a cool breeze…
- Edgar Renteria has "three options" for a 2011 contract, according to an AP story out of Colombia. "All of them are in the National League, and one is the Giants," Renteria said. "I'd like to return [to the Giants], but if it doesn't work out, there are the other teams." The Cardinals and Marlins could be the fallbacks, as Renteria has said he'd like to end his career playing for one of the two.
- No matter the season or league, Pedro Martinez wants to play for a winner. Martinez downplayed reports that he is training with the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Winter League, telling Pedro G. Briceño at Listin Diario, "I'm taking a break right now." In another interview, though, Martinez sounded more open, telling El Dia's Justo de la Cruz that he might change his mind if the Tigers improve in the standings or qualify for the Dominican playoffs. In regard to his plans stateside, Martinez told de la Cruz he hasn't hung up his spikes, but on the other hand said: "I don't rule out having an impulse to leave definitively."
- Scott Williamson is planning to pitch in Mexico this winter, and several Major League teams will be watching, Williamson's agent told the blog Baseball Mexico (link in English). The former National League Rookie of the Year hasn't pitched in the majors since 2007, but he put up impressive numers in part-time closing duty for the independent Somerset Patriots last summer.