pedro martinez
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News Archive for December 2002
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December 31, 2002

Mendoza happy to be in Hub
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

In his final days with his former team, Ramiro Mendoza said he wanted ``to die'' as a member of the New York Yankees. Yesterday, in his official introduction to Boston, Mendoza instead looked forward to doing battle with them. In this rivalry, after all, it is kill or be killed. ... [His agent Fernando Cuza said]: "Ramiro instructed me, 'If I can't play for the Yankees, I want to play for the Red Sox.' ''

 

December 25, 2002

What's $32 Million More? Yanks Sign Contreras
Murray Chass, New York Times

"The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America," said Larry Lucchino, president of the Boston Red Sox, who with the Yankees and the Seattle Mariners were the finalists in the Contreras pursuit.

Yankees on the money, beat Sox to Contreras
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe 

The New York Yankees, who are making a mockery of their supposed mandate to cut the game's fattest payroll, yesterday outbid the Red Sox for the services of Cuban defector Jose Contreras, who never has pitched an inning of major league baseball but was given a contract - four years, $32 million - commensurate with the elite pitchers in the game. ... [A]ccording to Sox owner John W. Henry, who entertained the 31-year-old Contreras in his Florida mansion as part of an intense recruiting push made by the Sox, Torres abruptly cut off negotiations. ''They stopped the bidding in the middle of this,'' Henry said last night. ''Who knows how much of a difference there would have been in the offers, since they were stopped?'' ...

The Red Sox almost certainly will shift their attentions back to the Expos and one of two pitchers, Bartolo Colon or Javier Vazquez ... The Sox had a deal in place for Colon, who is due to be paid $8.25 million next season and is eligible for free agency after next season, in which they would have given up third baseman Shea Hillenbrand and pitcher Casey Fossum, but the Sox balked when the Expos insisted they take overpaid third baseman Fernando Tatis ($6.25 million) as well.

Sox lose on Contreras: Cuban righty chooses Yanks
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Despite an aggressive campaign to secure pitcher Jose Contreras, the free agent right-hander agreed to terms with the New York Yankees on a four-year, $32 million contract yesterday. Sox owner John Henry expressed disappointment ... "In any process like this, unless you have chosen a team you prefer in advance or have an understanding of some sort, normally an agent tries to maximize dollars. That didn't happen here. They will never know and we will never know exactly how much Mr. Contreras would have been paid had there been competitive bidding.'' According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the Sox were prepared to offer Contreras as much as $10 million a year.

Yanks Wrap Up Jose
Michael Morrissey, New York Post

Every time Boston faces off against the Yankees, the Red Sox must feel like a political opponent of Fidel Castro. After eight decades of second-place finishes, the result is seemingly rigged against them.

Bosox Zero In On Mendoza
New York Daily News

The Red Sox, who lost to the Yankees in the Jose Contreras sweepstakes, appear ready to get a small consolation prize. Ramiro Mendoza, who became a free agent earlier this month when the Yankees declined to offer arbitration, is on the verge of signing a three-year deal worth $12 million with Boston, according to reports in Panama and the U.S. According to a report in the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa, Mendoza confirmed on a Panamanian radio station last week that an agreement was nearing completion. ... However, an MLB source said yesterday no contract had been submitted to the league ...

 

December 18, 2002

Player Transactions
redsox.com

12/18: Signed INF Damian Jackson to a one-year contract. Signed RHP Mike Timlin to a one-year contract worth $1.85 million.

12/17: Agreed to terms with 1B/OF Jeremy Giambi on a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

12/16: Selected LHP Javier Lopez, LHP Matt White and OF Adrian Brown in the Major League phase of the 2002 Rule 5 Draft; selected RHP Elvis Dejesus, RHP Junior Herndon, LHP Alex Carbajal and OF Jeremy Owens in the Triple-A phase of the 2002 Rule 5 Draft. Acquired INF/OF Cesar Crespo from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league INF Luis Cruz.

12/15: Acquired 1B/OF Jeremy Giambi from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for RHP Josh Hancock.

12/12: Acquired INF Todd Walker from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for two minor league players to be named later.

12/07: Agreed to terms with RHP Frank Castillo on a 2003 contract, thus avoiding arbitration.  Offered arbitration to OF Cliff Floyd; did not offer arbitration to RHP Ugueth Urbina, INF Carlos Baerga, INF Rey Sanchez, RHP Dustin Hermanson, OF Rickey Henderson, INF Tony Clark and INF Shane Andrews.

12/05: Agreed to terms with RHP Willie Banks on a 2003 contract; agreed to terms with RHP Ryan Rupe on a 2003 contract.

12/03: Named Jerry Narron bench coach.

12/02: Named Euclides Rojas bullpen coach. 

 

December 17, 2002

Sox, Yankees battle again -- They're in showdown over Montreal's Colon
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

As if it were inevitable, baseball's winter meetings ended last night with a bout of brinksmanship between the Red Sox and Yankees, this time with the Expos hoping one of the archrivals would blink in a showdown over Montreal ace Bartolo Colon.

 

December 16, 2002

Healthy Start
Bob Hohler and Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Hoping to match the good health he experienced last season, Pedro Martinez began his offseason throwing program last week at the team's training headquarters in Fort Myers, Fla. Martinez, under the direction of assistant trainer and rehab specialist Chris Correnti, worked out with Derek Lowe, among other Sox pitchers. John Burkett also has worked out with Correnti in hopes of improving on last season. The Sox plan to follow the same regimen with Martinez next season by giving him extra rest and limiting his pitch count.

 

December 15, 2002

Sox should extend Pedro
Art Davidson, MetroWest Daily News

Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said last week that he would eventually like to sign Pedro Martinez to a contract extension. Martinez is already under contract for next season and the Red Sox hold an option on him for 2004. ... Martinez will be paid $15 million next year. The Red Sox hold an option on him for 2004 that's worth $17.5 million. ... Why then does it make sense to sign Martinez, who will be almost 33 when the 2004 season ends, to a contract extension now? It's a gamble the Red Sox should take, but only if Martinez agrees to help his team.

 

December 13, 2002

Owners take blame for whiffing on Martinez
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe 

Red Sox owners John W. Henry and Larry Lucchino, back from a four-day trip to the Dominican Republic, absolved Pedro Martinez of any blame for his absence from his native country while they were there, even though they had intended to visit their ace pitcher. But Lucchino stressed while the Red Sox have no plans at this time to talk with Martinez about the $17.5 million contract option they hold on the pitcher for the 2004 season, they're open to meeting with Martinez at his request.

Prospectus Q&A: John Henry
Jonah Keri, Baseball Prospectus

John Henry took over as owner of the Boston Red Sox after the 2001 season, replacing outgoing chairman John Harrington. He made news this off-season by hiring Bill James to the front office and naming 28-year-old Theo Epstein as general manager. The former commodities trader made his fortune by following market trends and leveraging his interest in math. He recently chatted with BP about his goals for the Sox, his views on ownership and his thoughts on Red Sox Nation.

 

December 12, 2002

Pedro saga goes on: Sox won't let ace run talks
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

The Red Sox made it clear last night that when they sit down with Pedro Martinez to talk about his future with the team, they will not necessarily be saying all the things he will want to hear nor as quickly as he wants to hear them. ... Martinez' timetable is not one the Red Sox are working under, nor will the Sox begin hashing out a new deal the next time they sit down with Martinez ... There is no language in Martinez' contract that states that his option year must be picked up by next February. The option must be picked up by next November. ... 

Meanwhile, the murky circumstances behind the foiled plot to kidnap Martinez' father became slightly clearer yesterday, when it became apparent that the case is officially closed. According to a source in the Dominican Republic with ties to the National Police, the police have released three natives of Manoguayabo (hometown of Pedro and his father Pablo Martinez) who were suspected of plotting a kidnapping-for-ransom of the elder Martinez. The three, whose identities were not released and were described only as "youngsters,'' were released due to lack of evidence. "These young men had said something about kidnapping Pablo Martinez, but it was just a comment,'' said the source. "The police said that they don't have enough evidence to say they are guilty. They are free now, the case is closed.''

Martinez plot said to not exist -- Sox get report from MLB office
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Red Sox spokesman Kevin Shea said yesterday that Major League Baseball officials, following up on a police investigation in the Dominican Republic of a purported kidnap-for-ransom plot involving the father of Sox ace Pedro Martinez, were told that no such plot existed. ... Martinez, who was in Boston Tuesday, could not be reached by the team yesterday, according to club officials, who said they were unaware of his whereabouts. ... Martinez, in published reports, had lent credence to the alleged kidnapping plot when he was quoted as saying, ''My daddy, he was almost kidnapped.'' But Shea said Martinez may not have been aware of the information the club received when he made those comments.

 

December 11, 2002

Stories differ on plot to abduct Martinez dad
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Did police in the Dominican Republic foil an alleged kidnap-for-ransom plot that targeted the father of Pedro Martinez? Yes, according to published reports in that country, and in comments made by the Red Sox pitcher published in today's editions of the Boston Herald. No, the Associated Press reported last night, claiming police officials in Santo Domingo informed them the reports were erroneous. Red Sox spokesman Kevin Shea, who said he spoke with Martinez yesterday but claimed to be unaware the pitcher was in Boston, said last night the alleged plot ''sounds like perhaps it wasn't as real as maybe Pedro and people thought it was. The important thing is everyone is safe.''

Curiously, Martinez, who spoke with one Sox official Monday while in Miami, ''never said a word about anything like that,'' said the official. Martinez's older brother, Ramon, who appeared at a public function in Santo Domingo Monday night, was quoted in one Dominican paper as saying he'd heard rumors that two people were planning to kidnap his father to collect a ransom.

''We're grateful for the support of all the people who have called us,'' Ramon Martinez was quoted as saying. ''Thank God my dad is fine and it's not true he's been kidnapped.''

The published reports, which first appeared in the Dominican press Monday, said police had taken into custody two men who worked in a bakery in Managuayabo and were allegedly involved in the plot to kidnap Paolino Jaime Martinez, the pitcher's father who apparently had a business interest in the bakery. A police spokesman, Ramon Francisco Rodriguez Sanchez, was quoted in Listin Diario, confirming that rumors had been circulating in Managuayabo of a possible kidnap scheme, but the newspaper said no arrests were made.

But Martinez told the Herald, ''My daddy, he was almost kidnapped. This is something we've had to deal with in our country when you're famous and rich. Now, all of a sudden, it could have cost me my life, being rich. Oh my God, they had this whole plan.''

Plot to kidnap Pedro dad KO'd
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez appreciates all that his wealth and fame have brought him. After news emerged yesterday of a foiled plot to kidnap his father, Pablo Jaime, in the Dominican Republic, the Red Sox ace has learned all too well the curse his good fortune can bring, as well.

"My daddy, he was almost kidnapped,'' Martinez said of the alleged plot, which was discovered last Thursday and reported in the Santo Domingo newspaper Listin Diario. The plan, the newspaper reported, was hatched by two employees of a bakery owned by Pedro, his brother, Ramon, and their 67-year-old father, located in their hometown of Manoguayabo. Another employee overheard the pair talking about a plot, to be carried out this Sunday, in which the driver and bodyguard for Pablo Martinez would be disarmed. Once Martinez' father was kidnapped, the pair was going to demand a ransom for his safe return.

"This is something we've had to deal with in my country when you are famous and rich,'' Martinez said. "Now, all of a sudden, it could have cost me my life, being rich. Oh my God, they had this whole plan. They worked at the business my dad has, according to what I know, and they were supposed to kidnap him on the 15th.''

However, police are officially downplaying the alleged plot, telling another newspaper, Ultima Hora, and The Associated Press, that no one has been arrested and investigators concluded there was no plan to kidnap anyone. But Listin Diario, citing sources, said the alleged plotters remain in custody. The unnamed pair are said to be natives of Manoguayabo, a village of a couple of thousand people that is a 30-minute drive from Santo Domingo. ...

Martinez is fiercely protective of the privacy and safety of his closest family members, which include his divorced mother and five siblings. The small houses where the six Martinez children and assorted cousins grew up have now been torn down, and a modern house, safely ensconsed behind high walls with an electronic gate, has been built for Martinez' father and remaining family members. Martinez has built a church and a high school in his hometown, and he, Ramon and former major league pitcher Juan Guzman have built a sports complex there, as well. Martinez, who lives in Santo Domingo, pays frequent visits to Manoguayabo. ... Martinez said he had spoken to his father and that ``he's fine'' and in a safe place.

Ace sees a sign: Pedro hopes Luccino backs words with deal
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez still plans to become a free agent after next season if his 2004 option is not picked up and work on a contract extension is not under way before spring training begins. But the Red Sox ace felt a renewed sense of optimism yesterday when he heard word that the club may very well be preparing to keep him from getting anywhere near free agent waters. In comments to the Dominican Republic newspaper Hoy, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said he wanted both Martinez and Manny Ramirez to finish their careers in a Red Sox uniform and that negotiations with Martinez on a contract extension would begin soon. ...

"If this year starts, in spring training, and I am not anywhere with them, then I will wait and become a free agent,'' said Martinez, who signed a then-record six-year, $75 million deal soon after he was traded from the Expos to the Red Sox after the 1997 season. "If I don't have any signs that they are going to pick my option or keep me for a few more years and letting one more year expire, that shows that they have no interest in me. I am not mad at them but I would be shocked if they do not pick up my option. I'm actually shocked that they picked up Nomar's option (for 2004) and not mine with the lack of pitching in the league.'' ...

Martinez said that he will begin throwing for the first time this offseason next Monday at home in Santo Domingo. He said he feels great, his training program is going well and he is a couple of pounds lighter than he was a year ago when he weighed about 194.

 

December 10, 2002

Plot to kidnap Pedro's father foiled
Boston Herald

Police in the Dominican Republic say they have arrested two people suspected of plotting to kidnap Pablo Jaime Martinez - the father of Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez. The suspects are natives of Martinez' hometown of Manoguayabo, according to Dominican newspaper Listin Diario. Former Red Sox pitcher and Pedro's older brother Ramon Martinez confirmed that the plot had been foiled. "We are thankful for the great solidarity of all the people who have called to us," Martinez said. "Thanks to God my papa is well." According to Listin Diario, the plan involved disarming the elder Martinez' driver and bodyguard, and then kidnapping and holding him for ransom.

 

December 7, 2002

Ramirez did not ask out -- Moorad says client happy with Red Sox
Gordon Edes and Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

The agent for Manny Ramirez early this morning denied a published report that Ramirez has asked to be traded by the Red Sox. Agent Jeff Moorad, reached at his West Coast home, was responding to a report that appeared in today's editions of the Boston Herald, which cited a baseball source in claiming Ramirez had requested the trade in a recent lunch meeting at the Florida home of Sox owner John W. Henry. ... Did Ramirez ask Henry to be traded? ''No,'' Moorad said.

Red Sox offer Floyd arbitration
Ian Browne, mlb.com

Outfielder Cliff Floyd was the only player offered arbitration by the Boston Red Sox before Saturday's midnight deadline. ... Floyd has until Dec. 19 either to accept or reject the arbitration offer. The Red Sox did not offer arbitration to Ugueth Urbina, Carlos Baerga, Rey Sanchez, Dustin Hermanson, Rickey Henderson, Tony Clark and Shane Andrews. 

 

December 6, 2002

Pedro honored
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez received a plaque from the Dominican Republic consulate in Puerto Rico for being an "idol'' in Latin America. "It's a recognition for Pedro's effort, sacrifice and perseverance that has taken him to the top of the sport,'' said Dominican Consul Rolando Acosta Trinidad. "He's not only an idol in his home country of the Dominican Republic, but in all of Latin America.''

 

December 3, 2002

Pitchers start throwing
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Right-hander Derek Lowe began his offseason throwing program yesterday in Fort Myers. [Alan] Embree threw with him as well. Pedro Martinez is expected to begin throwing later this week or sometime next week.

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