Friday, July 17, 2009

Pedro in Philly; Lugo Going?

Pedro Martinez signed this week with the Philadelphia Phillies, a one-year deal worth about $1 million.

My initial reaction was sadness. I really wish Pedro Martinez would have retired instead.

He clearly is a shadow of what he once was. I don't care if he was effective in the WBC in March. He hasn't pitched in the majors this year, and I suspect he was holding out for more money from someone before finally settling on the Phillies.

Pedro was simply the best pitcher I've ever seen in a Red Sox uniform. His 1999 and 2000 seasons were two of the greatest seasons any pitcher has ever had. The Red Sox made the right decision to let him walk after the 2004 season. His body broke down in New York, and while he did rejuvinate the Mets franchise, his best days were clearly behind him.

Can he help the Phillies? He could. But he will be 38 in October. He is a sure-shot first ballot Hall of Famer, and it will be sad if he turns into a vagabond like Steve Carlton did at the end of his great career, going from team to team, just trying to hang on.

I hope that if he struggles in Philly, he'll finally hang it up, and leave us all with many pleasant memories.

And it also appears that the Julio Lugo Era is concluding in Boston, by either by trade, release or DFA.

Lugo missed yesterday's workout in Toronto, and it appears he will be removed from the roster one way or the other. Mike Lowell is scheduled to be activated today, along with Clay Buchholz being brought up for today's start. Aaron Bates will be sent back to Pawtucket, and Jed Lowrie is waiting in the wings. Rumors were strong Theo Epstein was looking to dump him off on anybody for a marginal prospect, and is willing to eat most of the $13 million owed him. (Yikes.)

Lugo, never the best of shortstops even when he was healthy, lost even more range from his recent knee surgery. His offensive numbers were decent, but he lost his power numbers over the last two years, and Nick Green has played far better in the field.

By game time tonight we may finally have an answer to his status. I will give Lugo his due. He's handled this season like a professional, and hasn't been whining about his playing time. But it's time to cut the cord with this guy, and realize signing him was an expensive mistake.

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