Pedro Martinez Rumors

Odds & Ends: Gammons, Braves, Hurdle, Marlins

As we hope for Wilson and Cain rather than clouds and rain in San Francisco tonight, here are a few news items…

  • In an appearance on WEEI's The Big Show this afternoon, Peter Gammons predicted that Cliff Lee will re-sign with Texas and Victor Martinez will sign a four- or five-year contract with Detroit since "I don't think anyone else is going to give him four or five years."  Gammons also reiterated that the Red Sox have a big interest in Carl Crawford this winter.  WEEI's Kirk Minihane has a partial transcript here.
  • The Braves have signed Beau Torbert to a minor league contract, according to the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants, Torbert's American Association team.  Torbert, a 17th-round pick of the Astros in 2004, was Baseball America's Independent Player Of The Year for 2010.
  • The Pirates haven't interviewed a managerial candidate in two weeks, but FOXSports.com's Tracy Ringolsby believes the Bucs are waiting to speak to Clint Hurdle, who is "a serious consideration" for the job.  Pittsburgh has to wait until the World Series is over to interview Hurdle, the former Rockies manager and current Rangers hitting coach. 
  • The Marlins hope to settle on a manager by next week, tweets Newsday's Ken Davidoff.  Edwin Rodriguez is "still in the mix" according to Davidoff, which coincides with news earlier this week that the Fish were "leaning toward" keeping their current manager.
  • Pedro Martinez is "looking for motivation to come back," tweets Enrique Rojas of ESPN.  Martinez is training with the Dominican League's Licey Tigers, whose pitching coach is Pedro's brother (and former major league pitcher) Ramon.  
  • Andy MacPhail tells MASN.com's Steve Melewski that the Orioles aren't likely to re-sign any of their pending free agents before the deadline.
  • Tom Gage of the Detroit News implies that Jim Thome could be the Tigers' backup plan if the team fails to sign any bigger-name free agents.
  • We had heard that John Gibbons wasn't a managerial candidate in New York, but Jack Curry of the YES Network reports that the Mets have already contacted other teams for infomation about the Royals bench coach.  Curry says the Mets haven't contacted Gibbons himself, but will probably do so once Sandy Alderson officially takes over as GM. (All Twitter links)
  • Hoping your team can unload a bad contract this winter, or at least trade one for another team's problem?  ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin has a rundown of each team's most unwieldly financial commitments.

Pedro Won’t Pitch In 2010, Could Return In 2011

Pedro Martinez won't pitch in 2010, but may return in 2011, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald also reported the news.

Agent Fernando Cuza told Rojas that Pedro wants to spend more time with his family in the Dominican Republic at this point. It's not a retirement, since Pedro may pitch in 2011. Rojas reports that a number of teams had interest in Pedro, including the Phillies.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner posted a 3.63 ERA in nine second-half starts for the Phillies last year with 7.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. This season, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is eyeing another top starter, Roy Oswalt, but running into some obstacles in pursuit of the Astros ace.


Reunion Seems Unlikely For Pedro, Phillies

Pedro Martinez has yet to throw off a mound this year, so the chances that he signs with the Phillies for a second consecutive year appear to be dwindling. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke to Pedro’s agent, Fernando Cuza, and determined that things have changed since last year.

“They're different circumstances,” Amaro said, pointing out that Pedro pitched in last year’s World Baseball Classic. “He hasn't gotten on a mound [in 2010]. Only Pedro could say when he'd be ready. I'm sure he knows, but I couldn't tell you."

Amaro didn’t rule out a reunion, but Zolecki suggests the Phillies will not bring Pedro back. J.A. Happ is pitching at Triple A and could return soon, but the Phillies are considering help outside the organization. 

Pedro posted 7.5 K/9 with 1.6 BB/9 last year, along with a 3.63 ERA. He didn’t throw much (just 44.2 innings), but he provided the Phils with a late-season boost. This year, Amaro could turn to Dan Haren (a player the Phillies have interest in) or other potentially available arms like Fausto Carmona and former Phillie Brett Myers.



Phillies Prioritizing Starting Pitching Depth

The Phillies are prioritizing starting pitching depth this trade deadline, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter). They are looking to add a middle-of-the-rotation starter, probably someone better than Jeremy Guthrie. Few available starters short of Cliff Lee– the Phillies' biggest 2009 acquisition- and Roy Oswalt are definitively better than Guthrie, but arms like Fausto Carmona, Edwin Jackson and Brett Myers could be fits – at least in theory.

It seems unlikely that the D'Backs would trade Jackson in the near future, since he no-hit the Rays over the weekend. Myers is having an excellent season in Houston, but there's no guarantee that Ruben Amaro Jr. would be interested in bringing him back to Philadelphia so soon after the sides parted ways.

Another former Phillie, Pedro Martinez, plans to pitch in 2010, but he wouldn't be ready for major league action without weeks in the minor leagues. The Phillies maintain that they're not close to bringing Pedro back. 

Roy Halladay has been one of the best pitchers in the National League, Cole Hamels has pitched well, though he has been homer-prone and Jamie Moyer has been reliable. Joe Blanton pitched well against the Twins and Indians in his last two starts, but he and Kyle Kendrick have been Charlie Manuel's least reliable starters in 2010.


Dodgers Are Considering Free Agent Pitchers

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Bill Shaikin of the LA Times that he has inquired about free agent pitchers, without specifying which ones. Jarrod Washburn is coaching T-ball these days, but said he would consider offers to pitch this season. Former Dodger Pedro Martinez has said he would pitch for a contender and Braden Looper is another free agent option.

Colletti expressed confidence in his offense and suggested it will take pitching to improve upon the team’s 38-33 record.

"Unless something drastic happens to an everyday player — or more than one — I think our focus will continue to be on our pitching staff," Colletti said.

It would take at least a few weeks for any unsigned pitcher to prepare for major league action, but free agents will only cost money. Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren may be more appealing, but they would cost the Dodgers prospects and salary.


Odds & Ends: Pomeranz, Marlins, Everett, Valentine

Links for Wednesday…


Dodgers Looking To Acquire Starting Pitching

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said today that he hopes to add a starting pitcher to his club's rotation, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Colletti didn't specifically name any targets, but said that he's "starting to focus on who" could be available before next month's trade deadline.

"The conversations have picked up a little," Colletti said. "It doesn't seem that anything is really hot. There are six or seven weeks to go [until the trade deadline]. Teams holding on to pitchers, their value won't go down unless they get hurt."

Although they're tied atop their division with a record of 38-28, the Dodgers have been using a pair of rookies in their starting rotation. With John Ely (9.20 ERA in his last three starts) and Carlos Monasterios (7.27 ERA in his last two starts) struggling as of late, starting pitching is becoming an increasing concern for the team.

The Dodgers are expected to be a suitor in the Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee sweepstakes, though it's unclear if they have the necessary prospects and financial resources to acquire either ace. Pedro Martinez, who wants to pitch for a contender this season, could also be an option for the defending NL West champs.


Pedro Would Only Consider Contenders

Pedro Martinez’s agent confirmed that his client wants to play in 2010 and explained that the circumstances would have to be right for Pedro to return to the majors. Fernando Cuza told Andy Martino and Christian Red of the New York Daily News that Pedro won’t play for a losing team.

“It definitely has to be a contending team, one that has a chance to make the playoffs and go deep," Cuza said. 

Pedro, who is working out privately in the Dominican Republic isn’t about to showcase himself for teams, as he did last year. Cuza says Pedro “removed any doubts” with last year’s performance. 

Martinez posted a 3.63 ERA in 44.2 innings for the Phillies last year thanks in part to a rejuvenated fastball. The Phillies downplayed their interest in Pedro, though they have been keeping in touch. The Rangers, Cardinals, Tigers and Reds could be looking for pitching this summer. It’s hard to imagine the Mets bringing Pedro back, but they are looking for top starters.


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Pedro Plans To Pitch In 2010

THURSDAY, 9:05am: Amaro told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he hasn't spoken to Pedro's representatives in three weeks to a month, though the club would have some interest if Pedro intends to pitch. A source tells Salisbury that Martinez wants significantly more money than the Phillies would be willing to offer. 

WEDNESDAY, 11:48am: Pedro Martinez plans to pitch in the second half of the season, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes.com. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is training in the Dominican Republic and Miami in preparation for a second consecutive second-half return.

Pedro, now 38, pitched to a 3.63 ERA in 44.2 innings last year with 7.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. It wasn’t until August 12th that Pedro made his 2009 debut and the rest seemed to help. His average fastball was 89 mph, higher than any year since 2004.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was in touch with Pedro last month and confirmed that the dialogue continues. 

"We are not negotiating, but we've been talking to him,” Amaro said. “It all depends on whether he wants to play or not."

The Rangers, Cardinals, Tigers, Reds and Mets are among the contenders that could look to add starters. However, a return to Queens seems unlikely, since the Mets appear to have little interest


Rosenthal On Cubs, Pedro, Padres

Let's check out the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..

  • It's hard to imagine the Cubs as sellers, but if they go that route, lefty Ted Lilly would be a logical piece to move.  He's a potential free agent with some no-trade protection but they already have two replacements in their bullpen in Tom Gorzelanny and Andrew Cashner.  Meanwhile, Derrek Lee has been adamant about not waiving his no-trade clause.  However, hooking on with a contender would enhance his value on the open market.
  • The Phillies have kept in touch with Pedro Martinez's agent but GM Ruben Amaro says that he will have to be "really motivated" to pitch this season.  Rosenthal says that translates to the righty wanting more money than he was paid last season, roughly $1MM for six weeks of work.  Money may not be everything for Martinez though as he will be 39-years-old in October and is said to be content.
  • The Padres are confident that Ryan Webb could fill a set-up role if they move one of their strong late inning relievers.  However, the team is reluctant to make such a move with Mike Adams' durability in question.  That said, the Padres would listen to offers for Heath Bell if a club was willing to give them a hitter they could control for several years.  Rosenthal instead suggests that they  consider Cleveland's Austin Kearns as he is a cheap, affordable outfielder.
  • Boston GM Theo Epstein hates trading for relievers, but chances are the club will be in the market for bullpen help come July.