Pedro Martinez's name has been splattered across headlines all week for his World Series performance, both on the field and in the media room. But if there's one more story that is worthy of mentioning, it's this one: Pedro twice tried to become a member of the New York Yankees, and twice was denied.
The news comes from the New York Daily News, which reports Martinez worked out for the Yankees after he left the Red Sox in 2004 and again this past summer.
This year, we knew the Yankees were watching Pedro in the Dominican, but so were a number of teams. It's the revelation that in 2004, the Yankees had some "internal information" on Pedro's health that scared them away from committing big money to the free agent.
"At that time we had internal information about his health that turned out to be accurate," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the News.
Part of the meeting in the offseason of 2004 included George Steinbrenner telling Pedro that if he signed with the Yankees, he'd have to cut his hair.
Following Pedro's effective performance against the Yankees on Thursday, Cashman didn't rule out the possibility of taking a third look at Pedro in the upcoming offseason.
"Every year we have to plan the trade and free-agent market," Cashman said. "We'll assess what we might like. We'll line the boards up and rank them accordingly. But he clearly was healthy and pitched great."
Cashman explained why the Yankees didn't sign Martinez this summer, even with question marks at the back end of their rotation.
"We took a look at him, but he didn't throw well in front of us. They said he was throwing 95. He was throwing 87, 88," said Cashman. "What he showed us wasn't what we were told. He was looking for $5 million. When he recalculated his demand, he didn't tell us about it. We might have had interest."