Sorry, couldn't resist the Napoleon Dynamite reference.
Sport Illustrated baseball man Jon Heyman is reporting that the Phillies and free agent pitcher Pedro Martinez have agreed to a one-year contract, which will be announced on Wednesday.
I don't like the move for the Phils. I love it.
According to Heyman's story, the Phils will pay Martinez $1 million with another $1.5 million in incentives. While alot of money to the average Joe, Martinez will be paid roughly 1/8 of what the Phils paid Adam Eaton to go away. So financially, it's a small investment for the Phils.
For Martinez, who has always loved the bright lights and big games, Philadelphia presents a great stage. He goes to a very good team that is likely to go to the playoffs, one with a need for a veteran arm. With Hamels at the top and more help (YOU Roy Halladay) hopefully on the way for the Fightins, Martinez will need only to be a consistent presence, not the dominating force he was in the late 1990s. He's also a righthander on a lefty-heavy squad, and that he apparently has some animosity for the Mets won't hurt him in Philadelphia either.
The negatives for Pedro have been well chronicled in recent years: lowered velocity, injury prone, only goes five or six innings. These are all true. However, if he stinks, the Phils can't simply get rid of him without it costing them much of anything.
But if he approximates anything close to what he was for most of 1994-2005, Martinez will be a great bargain for the Phils. Would it really surprise anyone if he came to Philadelphia uber-motivated and put together a second-half better than anyone expects? Martinez also has a bevy of post-season experience, and while much of that glory is five years and more ago, maybe an arm that's only been pitching three months instead of six or seven will leave him with enough in the tank to turn in a playoff performance or two that remind us of yesteryear. Just as long as he doesn't have an affable manager with a thick southern drawl who... Wait a minute... But unlike Grady Little, Charlie Manuel has won the whole thing, and seems to understand enough about pitching to know that he trusts his lieutenant Rich Dubee to tell him what he needs to know about his guy on the mound. Like, if he's thrown 115 pitches or so and he's getting hit a little in game seven of the LCS, get him out of there. But I digress.
I hope Pedro works out for the Phils, but I think they need another legit front of the rotation arm regardless.
My prediction? Pedro goes about 6-3 with an ERA between 3.75 and 4.50 for the Phils in the second half and starts at least one playoff game.
And if that happens, the decision to Vote for Pedro will have been worthwhile indeed.