Pirates reach out to Martinez
But talks with free-agent pitcher just exploratory
Saturday, January 17, 2009

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates have had contact with Pedro Martinez, one of the most prominent names among free-agent pitchers, and would be interested if the price is right. But talks solely have been exploratory to this point.

Martinez, 37, has been limited to 48 starts the past three seasons because of injury. He went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA for the New York Mets last season.

He is believed to be seeking a $7 million salary, a figure above what the Pirates would be willing to pay, and has told reporters that he would prefer to return to the Mets -- who first will seek other options -- but is open to signing anywhere. Other teams known to have expressed interest are the Cleveland Indians and Florida Marlins.

New Pirates pitching coach Joe Kerrigan worked with Martinez during his early years in Montreal.

Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at Catch more on the Pirates at the PG's PBC Blog.
First published on January 17, 2009 at 12:00 am