2:46pm: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says the Phillies and Martinez are not actively negotiating a contract. He says the two sides are maintaining contact, but nothing is imminent.
7:47am: Chalk one up for the Spanish-speaking side of the Bristol office. Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., gave an interview in Spanish to ESPN Deportes' Will Gonzalez yesterday, noting that the defending NL champions are currently negotiating with Pedro Martinez in regard to another midseason return to Philadelphia (link and audio in Spanish).
Pedro reportedly started throwing just last week, and Amaro insists there is no rush to sign on either side. "Right now he's trying to train, still not ready to pitch," he explains, though Pedro insisted recently that he doesn't need long to be in game shape. Amaro said earlier this month that Joe Blanton's oblique injury wouldn't be enough to spur the team into signing Pedro, but noted to Gonzalez that "we're going to continue to communicate openly" with Martinez as the season unfolds and the team's needs become clear.
This winter, Pedro floated the number of $5MM for his full-season services, the same number he stuck to, in prorated form, in negotiations through June of last season. Amaro dismisses any idea that the team was about to bite at that figure during the offseason when he recalls, "We talked two or three times (this winter). In those moments, he had other ideas of how he would like to be paid." With the season now underway, the general manager puts the ball in Pedro's court, potentially setting the stage for another late spring saga of public negotiations. "The doors are open," Amaro says. "But as in all negotiations, things depend on both sides. It not only has to do with the team, (it's also) the player."