Martinez Passes Physical, Expected To Join Phillies

It’s official: After the All-Star Break, Pedro Martinez will be hopping  off the carousel to a new National League East team.

After passing a physical in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the former ace
is expected to join the defending World Champions for the second half
of the 2009 season.

The introductory press conference is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, which should clear up some of the salary disputes: Yahoo Sports says he is expected to sign for the pro-rated $5 million he sought during the spring, but Philly.com says his one-year deal will be worth $1 million, with an additional $1.5 million based on incentives.

Could the Phillies have their own personal John Smoltz
story on their hands? Maybe. Martinez will likely need a handful of
rehab starts before he debuts with the big club, but once he does, the
former All-Star is guaranteed to make just as big of a splash as Smoltz
did in June.

After the 37-year-old won a championship with Boston in 2004, he and Theo Epstein
failed to come to terms on a new contract. He signed a four-year, $40
million deal with the Mets, but after a 15-win campaign in 2005, his
final three seasons in New York featured little more than shoulder
surgery and disappointment.

Martinez became a free agent after the 2008 season and, after
failing to sign a deal, spent the spring working out in the Dominican
Republic before finally drawing interest from a slew of clubs,
including Tampa Bay, the Chicago Cubs, and the Phillies — but his $5
million price tag seemed too risky until Philly came calling.

Throughout his 17-year career, Martinez has compiled a 214-99 record
with a 2.91 ERA. The eight-time All-Star also shelved three Cy Young
awards in 1997, 1999, and 2000.

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