The possibility of the Dodgers signing Pedro Martinez has been on our radar for a few weeks now, and SI.com's Jon Heyman says Pedro himself has been "apparently talking up a Dodgers reunion." But a quote in a recent column by the LA Times' Bill Plaschke kicked off the rumor mill anew:
"He's somebody we're curious about," General Manager Ned Colletti said. "We know how great he has been, and we know how popular he is in Los Angeles."
"For the first time that I've seen, Dodger general manager Ned Colletti expressed interest, however casual, in a Pedro Martinez signing," wrote Jon Weisman.
And from Joe Torre:
"I can't say we have no interest at all" Torre said, one day after Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti told The Times' Bill Plaschke that Martinez was "somebody we're curious about."
"I share Ned's comment about the curiosity . . . especially with the ballclub trying to figure out who their fifth starter is," said Torre, who frequently faced Martinez when he managed the New York Yankees.
Now before you start printing your MANNY & PEDRO: TOGETHER AGAIN! T-shirts, remember this is the NL West we're talking about. And Frank McCourt's money. Do we want Pedro right now? Of course we do. The nostalgia factor would be off the charts (not to mention increased ticket sales, hint hint Frank). But do we need Pedro right now? The answer is no.
Even before the Dodgers signed Manny Ramirez, CHONE had the Dodgers winning the NL West with 82 wins. Post-Manny, Baseball Prospectus has the Dodgers in first place with 84 (PECOTA) or 89 (Depth Charts) wins. In these troubled times, Martinez's asking price ($5 million to $5.5 million plus incentives) represents a significant investment for the Dodgers—especially for a 37-year-old pitcher with a significant injury history.
So how does Pedro end up in a Dodger uniform again? Tony Jackson has the answer:
The only way this happens is if the price comes way, way down, to a base salary not too far above the major-league minimum with a bunch of incentives thrown in.
Pedro Martinez has made nearly $150 million in career earnings. Think he's going to go back to working for peanuts, and for the organization that deemed him too small to survive in the majors?
So don't expect to see that magical reunion happening anytime soon. There is the possibility of acquiring Martinez as a mid-season pickup, but other pitchers may also be available (Ben Sheets? Roy Halladay?). Delwyn Young is out of options, and Blake DeWitt and Xavier Paul could become trade bait. Frank & Ned placated a lot of people by getting Manny to agree to deferred money. Things would have to fall apart for them to spend even more money right now.