Pedro still looking for work, Phillies may be interested
Last month general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that the Phillies had no interest in signing Pedro Martinez, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com and Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer both report that the team will indeed watch the future Hall of Famer work out in the Dominican Republic this week.
Martino speculates that Amaro has changed his stance on Martinez after failing to find a palatable trade solution for a veteran starter, while Zolecki suggests that the Phillies are simply “covering their bases in case Martinez has enough life left in his arm to help.”
Martinez has remained steadfast in his demand for a prorated $5 million contract, which while enough to scare teams off in April or May would add up to a relatively modest $2.5 million investment at this point in the season. In other words, showing any kind of decent stuff in this week’s workout could lead to Martinez finally being signed.
However, his previous workout sessions apparently have not been impressive, with various sources reporting that his fastball topped out in the mid-80s. Martinez went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA in 20 starts last season while averaging 87.7 miles per hour with his fastball, but his Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) was 4.61 and shows that he wasn’t as bad as the ugly ERA.
If healthy he’s certainly still capable of being a solid fourth or fifth starter for a contending team, but the decision for the Phillies revolves around whether dropping a few million bucks on a question mark makes more sense than relying on young starters or giving up some non-monetary assets in a trade for a less risky veteran.