Pedro Martinez plans on pitching this year

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Pedro Phillies cap.jpgWatching Pedro lob up last night’s first pitch while wearing a baggy jersey and a pair of old man slacks gave off the impression of a man retired. Not so, says Pedro:

Pedro Martinez did not exactly light up the radar guns with his
ceremonial first pitch, or lob, last night at the Red Sox-Yankees opener
but he has every intention of cranking his 38-year-old body up for
another major-league contract this coming season . . . He expects to start throwing on a program this coming week with the
intent of signing a similar type of deal that he got done with
Philadelphia. The Phillies could wind up being his destination this
season as well but as he said earlier today, “We’ll see what happens
with that.'”

I like the rent-a-Pedro model much more than I liked rent-a-Clemens back when the Rocket did it. If Clemens had worked out all winter and committed to the season you get the sense that he could have done better during those last two years. With Pedro, you just know he can’t hold up to a whole season anymore, so why even try?

All that said, I’m not at all certain that Martinez gets the deal he wants. There was a lot of smoke and mirrors with Philly last year. His race might just be run.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.