[Update 6:40pm] Marc Lancaster spoke with the Rays and they are downplaying the situation saying it was a “Rays’ officials in the Dominican who has known Pedro for a while” and that he “just watched [Pedro] work out.” Lancaster adds that it sounds like the team doesn’t expect anything to come of it.
That may be true, but then why schedule a second workout? Nothing may come of this, but it sure seems like the Rays are at least exploring the possibility.
[Update 5:40pm] Michael Weber of 10 Connects (WTSP/CBS) in St. Petersburg and Rays Revolutionary reports that they spoke with the Rays and at first the Rays denied the report, but later called back to confirm that a scout did watch Pedro throw.
The #Rays called us back. They say they had one of their Dominican guys watch Pedro.
Strange that they would change their story. The Rays are a very secretive organization, but they are not prone to lying. Either way, it looks like the Rays are at least kicking the tires on Pedro. They will only bite if the price is right, and if the price is right, you can never have too much pitching.
[Update 4:10pm] Here is a second report (in English) that reports that they confirmed the workout with a Rays official.
[1:39pm] We are not familiar with the source, but one news outlet in the Dominican Republic (translated version) is reporting that the Rays have met with Pedro Martinez and even attended a recent bullpen session.
via Google Translate: Even the pitcher held a meeting yesterday [pitching] in the Quisqueya stadium. in the bleachers and was department staff the Rays of Tampa, said the source. In all, Pedro did a bullpen session of 20 pitches, all straight and as the newspaper heard from listeners Rays were satisfied with what they witnessed the veteran pitcher.
From what we can gather from the translation, the Rays will observe another bullpen session in the coming days in which Pedro will mix in his breaking pitches.
Martinez made 20 starts for the Mets last season, going 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA. His last good season was 2005 when he was 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA and 208 strikeouts in 31 starts. He did make two appearances for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. He pitched 6 scoreless innings, striking out 6 and allowing 2 base runners, 1 hit and 1 hit batter.
Prior to the season, it was reported that Pedro was seeking a $5 million, one-year deal. With the season one-third over, we have to assume that the asking price would be in the $2.5-3.5 million range.
It is no secret the Rays have struggled with their starting pitching. The starters have a 4.71 ERA, 9th in the American League. Andy Sonnanstine is the 4th worst starting pitcher in baseball based on VORP (-8.7) and there is no timetable for Scott Kazmir’s return from the DL and whether he will be able to overcome his mechanical issues.
The rotation has been bad. Is Pedro the answer? We have no idea. But if the Rays hope to get back to the playoffs, they need better and more consistent performances from the rotation. And right now, the only way that may be possible is to make a change.
Tampa con interés en Pedro [listindiario.com]