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Phillies ink Pedro Martinez to one-year, $1 million contract.

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Phillies sign Pedro.Hurler could make $1.5 million in performance-based incentives.


Will have short minor league stint before return to majors.


PHILADELPHIA — Three-time Cy Young award winner Pedro Martinez agreed to a one-year, $1 million, incentive laden contract with the Phillies this morning.

Martinez was immediately placed on the team’s 15-day disabled list. By placing Martinez on the list, the 17-year veteran right-handed officially embarked on a two-week minor league stint without taking up one of the team’s 25 roster spots. It is not yet known where Martinez will be sent for his first start in the minors, though it is expected he will make his major league debut on July 30 when the team opens a series against the San Francisco Giants.

Last year, Martinez pitched for the divisional rival New York Mets and amassed five wins and six losses with an earned run average of 5.61 in just 110 innings.

Martinez, one of the game’s most dominating pitchers from 1995 to 2005 with the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, and Mets, has suffered from numerous injuries over the past three seasons. During his 2006 campaign with the Mets, Martinez suffered a hip injury after a fall in the team’s clubhouse. He pitched ineffectively and sporadically over the season’s last two months before it was revealed that Martinez was also reeling from torn muscles in his calf and rotator cuff. He started only five games in 2007 before his lackluster return last year.

Pedro last pitched in the World Baseball Classic.Martinez was last seen professionally pitching during the 2009 World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic where he worked six scoreless innings, striking out six and walking none.

Martinez is the latest of a slew of once-dominating pitchers signed to low-risk contracts. Earlier this season, the Chicago White Sox signed righty Bartolo Colon to a similar deal and the Boston Red Sox signed former-Dodgers closer Takashi Saito for $1.5 million. In a league desperate for pitching, the Phillie’s saw an opportunity to sign a proven, yet ailing, pitcher with high upside.

After watching Martinez pitch in two private sessions, the team looked to sign him. While his fastball no longer reached  96-97 miles per hour, Martinez hit 92 on the gun consistently during the first session. His arm recovered nicely during the second outing, and since Martinez hasn’t pitched consistently since the Classic, the minor league rehabilitation stint should allow him to maintain more consistent velocity and to harbor his off-speed offerings.

The Phillies are not expecting a resurgent Pedro Martinez, but rather looking for a bridge between the team’s rock-solid front end and the team’s unproven four and five pitchers, J.A. Happ and the combination of Rodrigo Lopez and three others.

Philadelphia’s general manager Ruben Amaro also indicated that Martinez’s pedestrian 2009 salary also allows the team to pursue loftier goals, most notably, Blue Jay’s ace and trade bait Roy Halladay.

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  1. trackingback – Phillies ink Pedro Martinez to one-year, $1 million contract…. trackingback – Phillies ink Pedro Martinez to one-year, $1 million contract….

    July 17, 2009 at 5:18 am

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