Friday, February 06, 2009

A Dark Horse Named Pedro

The Baseball Analysts' recent accusation that he's exceedingly chummy with Scott Boras hasn't stopped SI.com's Jon Heyman from churning out the speculation. And why not? That's what he's paid for.

Heyman's latest chin-scratcher regards a possible reunion between the Dodgers and one of the biggest fish that got away, Pedro Martinez:

A rejuvenated Pedro Martinez probably could help a lot of teams. But the best fit just might be the Dodgers, the organization that must still regret trading the future Hall of Famer 16 years ago.

Putting aside the nostalgic aspect of a Pedro reunion, Martinez makes sense for the Dodgers for at least three big reasons ...

1. The Dodgers need starting pitchers. Presumably, they'll land at least one solid, in-his-prime pitcher for their rotation after losing Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux and Brad Penny this winter, and that will probably be either Randy Wolf or Braden Looper. However, the Dodgers may need more than one pitcher after suffering so many losses. While they are hopeful that talented youngster Chad Billingsley will come back quickly after breaking his leg slipping on ice in his home state of Pennsylvania, Billingsley's injury is yet another issue for a young, talented team that has a number of them.

2. The Dodgers need someone like Martinez to tutor their staff. Maddux was that guy in recent seasons, and Martinez could ably fill that role. He is a sage and stable veteran.

3. Martinez could help if any Manny Ramirez issues come up (that's if Ramirez returns, of course). There were never any major problems with Manny in Boston when his buddies Martinez and Kevin Millar were there, and while there's no certainty Martinez could have saved Manny from himself last summer in Boston, he couldn't have hurt.

These old sentiments seem to crop up a lot—e.g., Mike Piazza, Eric Gagne—and while it's fun to reminisce, the sheer volume of burnt bridges out there for the Dodgers is an organizational symptom of twenty years of front office volatility. Which helps to explain the general exasperation surrounding Ned Colletti's failure to sign Ramirez. While the staredown between Colletti and Scott Boras is merely a negotiation ploy on both sides, it sends a mixed message to fans who have had to endure spectacularly expensive failures such as Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt.

Speaking of injured pitchers, should Colletti take a chance on Martinez? While seeing Pedro back in Dodger Blue would certainly be a joyful occasion, the cautionary example of the injured Ben Sheets still lingers fresh in the mind. Pedro will return to the Dodgers only if Pedro wants to return to the Dodgers, i.e., is willing to give Colletti some kind of reunion discount. And that doesn't sound like the Pedro we know—especially if Manny breaks the bank.

6 comments:

fanerman said...

Frank McCourt has to approve of Pedro. He was a Red Sox and a Met!

I wouldn't mind taking a chance on Pedro. There's upside.

Steve Sax said...

I agree with fanerman. Plus, McCourt could sell Pedro wigs (hopefully to go with the Manny wigs!).

Now, I wonder what Delino DeShields has to say about this.

Steve Sax said...

Btw, nice piece, Orel!

Eric Stephen said...

I'm down with the Soul Glo Pedro wigs to be sold along side the Manny dreadlock hats for 2009.

As far as I can tell, if Pedro came back he would have the longest time between Dodger stints, at 16 years.

Jesse Orosco waited 13 years (1988-2001) to come back, and Rudy Seanez waited 12 years (1995-2007).

Orel said...

Thanks for that nifty bit of info, Eric. If Pedro signs with the Dodgers, we'll definitely be quoting you on that.

cigarcow said...

It'll never happen, Pedro passionately hates Tommy.