UPDATE: Rumor Denied by a Mets’ spokesman. Drat. I like Pedro stuff. He makes the world a whole lot brighter.
5:20 P.M.: ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the Mets have talked to Pedro Martinez about coming back to pitch in New York. Never mind that he hasn’t started 25 games or thrown 150 innings since his first year with the Mets in 2005, and that he left town a year ago remembered far more as a free agent bust than as a future Hall of Famer.
But it could be all about perception and expectations with Pedro. Bring him in for huge money and he busts and of course the fans in Queens are going to be angry. Bring him in for low, low veteran dollars and he pitches as a fair-to-middlin’ back of the rotation starter and he might be a nice little signing.
Heck, the Mets were reported to be in on Jason Marquis, and I could see Pedro having a more useful season than him.
LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.
Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.
Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.