According to beat writer Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, 40-year-old right-hander Pedro Martinez told reporters on Saturday night that he’s planning to officially retire from baseball.
Pedro sat out the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons, and hinted at hanging up his cleats during an interview back in May. So the announcement comes as no surprise.
The sure-fire Hall of Famer posted a 3.63 ERA and 37/8 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings for the Phillies in 2009. He’ll finish up with a sparkling 219-100 career record, a 2.93 career ERA and a 1.05 career WHIP. He struck 3,154 batters over an 18-year career.
Martinez said he’s planning to visit Boston and other cities as part of a reunion tour next summer.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.