November 28, 2004

My Dinner With Pedro. The New York Post reports that Alex Rodriguez and Pedro Martinez had dinner together back on Thursday, November 18, two days after Pedro met with George Steinbrenner -- the man he once said "doesn't have enough money to put fear in my heart."

Martinez's agent, Fernando Cuza: "Alex gave Pedro the pitch, he told him what the Yankees are about, how Joe Torre runs things, about the clubhouse atmosphere and what's expected." Pedro told a newspaper in Santo Domingo that he "will do the necessary thing. We will do it without favoritism and we will do it well. I want respect, affection and the best possible treatment. I am not requesting anything that Pedro Martinez does not deserve. ... The reception with Steinbrenner was huge. The Yankees have a lot of respect for me. ... [Derek Jeter] stopped to greet me ... in a very pleasant way."

Aren't we supposed to beware when people start referring to themselves in the 3rd person? And he wants respect and affection? I don't think he'd get too much love in the Bronx. Maybe it's just a bad translation. ... Martinez added that if he left Boston, it "will not weigh on my conscience."

Now there's news that the Mets have dipped their toe into the Pedro pool. The Mets' interest was first reported last Wednesday. The following day, Pedro had dinner in Miami with Mets GM Omar Minaya. ... A NL source said the Mets are "heavily interested" and "will be aggressive." Today's papers indicate that an offer will be made.

Sean McAdam's take on all of this is pretty accurate in my opinion. He writes that Martinez is "playing the free agent game under the old rules, the ones that don't apply any more. ... The Red Sox aren't doing the chasing any more; that's the Yankees' role now. ... Internally, the Red Sox have decided on Martinez' value, which they deem to be just under $26 million for two years, with incentives available and an option for a third year. ... If the Yankees choose to give him more than that, the thinking goes, that's their problem. The Red Sox aren't about to lured into a bad deal merely to keep him out of pinstripes."

Boston's initial offer was quite fair -- and they may have sweetened it a bit. I don't think they are going to fool around too much with offers and counteroffers. They will not haggle. John Henry did not do that during the Alex Rodriguez saga last winter. Generally speaking, he had an idea of what felt right financially, he made an offer, and then waited for a decision. And he lived with decision (woo-hoo!).

Pedro can go visit all 29 teams if he likes. I don't think it's going to affect the Red Sox's offer at all. ... And I cannot imagine him pitching in Shea.

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