Wednesday, April 22, 2009

San Diego Padres: Pedro Martinez, Come to San Diego

I tend to look at the rumor sheets quite a bit, see what team is interested in what player, which players are still left unsigned and how many interesting names are still out there looking for their 2009 teams?

Here's one name that I continue to come across and I'm surprised that he is still unsigned, Pedro Martinez. How many teams need a veteran starting pitcher and can get some quality innings out him?

One of those teams that definitely have a need in that area are the San Diego Padres. As it stands right now, besides Jake Peavy and Chris Young they have Kevin Correia, Shawn Hill and recently called up Josh Geer.

Correia and Hill haven't pitched more than five innings in each of their last two starts, prompting San Diego to go to their bullpen sooner than they would like.

Josh Geer was just called up on Sunday to make his first start against the Phillies and, although he struggled during spring training, he actually impressed a lot of people myself included. Geer gave up just two runs (one earned) on just six hits through seven innings of work, giving the Padres' bullpen a much needed break from the previous few nights.

The reports on Martinez are he's looking for a one year deal in the range of $5 million. A steep price for a pitcher who spent most of 2008 on the disabled list due to a strained hamstring while pitching for the New York Mets. In his four years with the Mets, Martinez finished with a 32-23 record and a 3.88 ERA, still nothing to scoff at if I'm a team needing a pitcher, especially in the National League.

The kind of money that Martinez is looking for may be too steep for the Padres to be willing to pay, but I don't see a problem with general manager Kevin Towers calling Martinez' agent to find out if there's any interest in him coming to San Diego. If he shows mutual interest and is willing to come down from his $5 million asking price, the two sides may be able to come to an agreement.

Think of it this way. Kevin Towers can't argue with having a starting rotation that boasts Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Pedro Martinez as their front three, they would go from predicted "cellar dwellars," to one of the favorite in the NL West.

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