There are probably at least one or two Red Sox fans out there who wouldn’t mind seeing Pedro Martinez round out the Boston rotation in 2013. That won’t be happening any time soon, but the former ace will be rejoining the club.
General manager Ben Cherington announced Thursday that Martinez will be back with the Red Sox as a special assistant to the general manager.
“We are very excited to have Pedro onboard with us and back in the Red Sox organization,” Cherington said in a statement released by the organization. “He was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers and without a doubt a beloved figure in Red Sox history. Similar to former teammate Jason Varitek, who joined the baseball operations staff in September, Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players in spring training and throughout the season.”
The decision to bring Martinez back isn’t all that shocking, as the 41-year-old said last month that he fully expected to join the Red Sox in some capacity. It’s still something that’s bound to get those in Boston a bit fired up, though. Martinez, after all, was the most dominant pitcher in baseball during the late 90s and early 2000s while donning a Red Sox uniform.
Clearly, the Red Sox still hold a soft spot in Martinez’s heart. He has frequently professed his love for the organization, and he seems every bit excited to get down to work in his new gig.
“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said in the statement. “Ben Cherington’s meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can. I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them, and I thank them for allowing me to return to the field and help us win again. My heart will always live in Boston.”
Martinez, who last pitched in 2009 as a member of the Phillies, spent seven amazing seasons in Boston from 1998 to 2004. The right-hander won three Cy Young awards, finished twice on two other occasions and finished third and fourth in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Martinez went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA in 203 games (201 starts) as a member of the Red Sox, and his 1999 and 2000 campaigns will forever go down as two of the most dominant seasons by a pitcher in big league history.
Martinez will now look to impart his wisdom on a Red Sox pitching staff that struggled throughout the 2012 season.