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Pedro Martinez spent seven seasons with the Red Sox, made four trips to the playoffs, and won it all in his final year with the team in 2004. He then went on to sign with the Mets after that season, had one good season, and had three other injury-riddled years in New York. Pedro returned to the mound for one half season with the Phillies in 2009, and in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series against the Yankees, he made his final start…or was it?
The 39-year-old is reportedly ready to the return to the big leagues, according to Joe Brescia of the New York Times.
“I’m in shape right now and I’m training and I’m playing catch, so getting to full strength would probably take me a month, month and a half, to be on a mound,” Pedro told the Times.
When asked if he was offered the same contract by the Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox, Pedro said he would opt for Boston.
“I’d probably have to say the Red Sox. I would like to win a World Series in the National League, so the Phillies are in there, too. But for the time I’m going to be playing, I think Boston is more suitable so that I can retire with the Boston Red Sox and go to the Hall of Fame with the same hat.”
In 1999, Pedro had the most storied season of his career. He went 23-4, won the AL Cy Young, was robbed of the AL MVP, and tossed 17 scoreless innings in the playoffs. He was, by far, the best pitcher in the major leagues, and he was set to pitch in Boston for another five seasons.
Of his seven magnificent seasons with the Red Sox, however, none were better (in my opinion) than his 2000 season, when he had one of the best seasons in the history of baseball in a league riddled with steroid use by hitters. He went 18-6 with a 1.74 ERA and a minuscule .737 WHIP, which was the lowest for a starting pitcher in a single season in the history of baseball.
That year, his Adjusted ERA+, a stat which measures ERA up against other pitchers that year, was a stunning 291, the best number since 1880 (Tim Keefe, 295). Basically, Pedro was nearly three times as good as the average major league pitcher that season.
Considering the Red Sox are having a bit of trouble with their entire rotation following Jon Lester, the team may consider bringing Pedro back for one more go-around. While we wont see the same guy we saw in 2000, or in any other season he had while with the Sox, a relatively healthy Pedro would give the Red Sox some nice rotation depth and playoff experience.
If I had to guess, I would imagine the Phillies might come calling if one of their star-studded starting pitchers gets hurt, or Joe Blanton is ineffective. An older Martinez would make sense pitching in the National League as opposed to the American League East.
Would you want to see Pedro back in Boston?