In the past week or so, it has occurred to me that the Yankees could have a low risk/ high reward option for their fifth starter spot.
There are actually several possibilities, including the likes of Mark Mulder, Freddy Garcia and Mark Prior, but the one that intrigues me the most is Pedro Martinez.
If Martinez would sign with the franchise, it would be a fantastic opportunity for the Yankees to provide a show for their fans. While Pedro signing would be fraught with the irony of his “Public Enemy No. 1” status when he was a pitcher for the Red Sox, success in pinstripes could be beneficial on many levels.
Even if Martinez reverted back to a shadow of what he was in his prime, he could be a solid guy in New York’s rotation. He knows how to pitch, but more importantly, he knows how to pitch under pressure.
While he clearly doesn't have the same spark he once had, who's to say he can't compensate with the pitching knowledge he's gained throughout a stellar career? Who would have thought Mike Mussina would win 20 games at the end of his career?
Secondly, one would think that Martinez would be very determined to stick it to his old team, especially given the fact that he felt underappreciated when he departed Boston for the New York Mets after the 2004 season. He could potentially face his old team a half dozen times this season and almost certainly would reach down deep to send a message.
The best part is that Martinez could probably be had for a lower price than many would think. A low base pay with incentives would probably get the job done. In this scenario, he would have even more reason to give his all.
Even highly paid athletes need motivation and Martinez would have plenty.
There would be risk with a signing like this. Martinez hasn't thrown 200 innings since 2005 and his numbers last season were abysmal as he only threw 109 innings. However, this guy was perhaps the best pitcher in baseball for a long time. He has a lifetime ERA of 2.66 and a WHIP of 0.993!
The Red Sox have had a flurry of these types of deals in the past week or so, grabbing Brad Penny, John Smoltz and Rocco Baldelli. Although they could all end up being disappointing, they could also pay off big time at a reasonable price.
The Yankees still need to add low-cost depth to that rotation and this could be a perfect solution. If Martinez blows up, they still have the kids.
Pitching, pitching, pitching. Come on Brian — don't stop now!
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