Phils add Myers to roster, Martinez to start Game 2

The Philadelphia Phillies recently made two pitching moves in preparation for their upcoming battle with the New York Yankees in the World Series, one was naming Pedro Martinez the Game 2 starter and the second was adding Brett Myers to their roster.

Martinez will oppose A.J. Burnett at Yankee Stadium, while Cole Hamels will start in Philadelphia for Game 3. Martinez is obviously familiar with the Yankees from his days in Boston and has pitched in his fair share of tough environments throughout his career. He gives Philadelphia loads of postseason experience.

Held out of the NLCS, Myers was added at the cost of Miguel Cairo, whom was subtracted from the roster. Myers got two outs without allowing a run in his only playoff appearance this year, which came against the Rockies in the NLDS. He had a 6.43 ERA in eight relief appearances after returning from hip surgery in September.

His wife on national TV also rejected him when he went in for a kiss:

Ah, I can’t get enough of that…

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Martinez wins Phillies’ debut

Pedro Martinez gave up three runs on seven hits over five innings in his Phillies debut on Wednesday as Philadelphia crushed the suddenly lifeless Cubs 12-5 at Wrigley. Pedro also struck out five to earn his first win of the season.

From ESPN.com:

Pitching in a major league game for the first time since last September, Martinez mixed it up, changed speeds and lasted five innings to get the victory for his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies, in a 12-5 rout of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

“It was really fun to actually get back to the game. Last year was a horrible year. It was a very tough year,” Martinez said of his final injury-slowed season with the New York Mets. “I actually feel good and it shows.”

Pedro threw 64 of his 99 pitches for strikes and topped out at 93 mph on the radar gun. A 30-pitch fifth inning ended his night but overall, he looked sharp for a guy that could immediately help a World Series contender.

Pedro Martinez a good signing for Phils

Any time a team can add a three-time Cy Young winner who has a World Series ring and can still throw 90 mph as a fifth starter, it’s usually a good thing. And when that three-time Cy Young winner only costs the club $1 million, it’s a great thing.

The defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies signed Pedro Martinez to a one-year, $1 million contract on Wednesday in hopes he can rekindle some of the magic that has made him an eight-time All-Star over his career. While they did have to immediately place him on the 15-day DL with an shoulder strain, the club thinks that Martinez might be ready to pitch on July 30 when the Phillies open a series in San Francisco.

This was a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Phils. Given Philly’s offensive firepower, Martinez essentially just has to give the club quality outings. They don’t need him to strikeout 10 batters a game or work into the eighth inning every outing, they just need him to stay healthy and keep them in ballgames. And even if he doesn’t stay healthy, then the Phillies would be in no worse shape then they were before they signed him.

If Pedro pitches well and the Phils can hold off the Marlins, Braves and Mets in the NL East, then the Phillies will have a starting postseason rotation of Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ and Martinez, with Jamie Moyer moving to the pen to provide some long relief. That’s not a bad rotation, especially if Happ (6-0, 2.90 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) can continue pitching as well as he has up to this point in the season.

Again, if Martinez’s arm or shoulder craps out again, then the Phillies essentially waste $1 million this year. But if he pitches well, then he was worth the investment – especially considering he wanted $5 million for one season (or so reports claim).

MLB Trade Rumos: Halladay, Sanchez and Betancourt

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney is reporting that no team has made an aggressive offer for Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay yet, but adds that the Dodgers have now entered the “Doc” sweepstakes. Olney still thinks the Phillies have the best chance of landing Halladay, although will their pursuit of Pedro Martinez change that notion?

– Freddy Sanchez is quickly becoming the most talked about player on the trade market (not named Roy Halladay, of course). According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Giants would be willing to part with left-hander Jonathan Sanchez in a trade package for Freddy, although the Mariners and Rockies are also heavily pursuing the second baseman. Apparently the Bucs covet Colorado minor league prospect Eric Young Jr.

– The Seattle Times speculates that the M’s might be close to dealing Yuniesky Betancourt, who is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma. To whom and for who Betacourt could be going is uncertain at this point.

– Count the Reds in as a possible suitor for Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins, who is also on the Red Sox radar due to Mike Lowell’s injury.

– If you thought Nick Johnson and Austin Kearns were sure bets to be traded by the Nationals, think again. GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN The Magazine that, “We don’t have to move money, and that unites our hands a little bit. That means we’re going to make good solid baseball decisions, based on building this franchise the right way.

– Gil Meche doesn’t want to go anywhere according to the Kansas City Star, and isn’t inclined to give up his no-trade clause so the Royals can deal him.

If the Phillies sign Pedro, does it take them out of the Halladay sweepstakes?

There’s an interesting situation developing in Philadelphia, where the Phillies are in serious talks with free agent Pedro Martinez, but have also been linked to Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay.

According to a report by SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Phillies and Martinez may have already agreed to a $4 million contract, which would be a hefty price for a club that has also been linked to Halladay. If they take on a $4 million contract with Pedro, would the Phils still be willing to pursue Halladay, who’s owed $14.25 million this year and $15.75 million next year?

My guess would be no, unless Philadelphia has another trade scenario in their back pocket involving another pitcher. A likely candidate would be J.A. Happ, a 26-year old who has pitched incredibly well this season, posting a 5-0 record with a 3.04 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

Maybe the Jays would be interested in a package that involved Happ and a couple of minor league prospects. If so, a rotation that included Halladay, Martinez and Cole Hamels would be awfully tough to beat in the second half of the season, although Hamels has struggled a bit this year.

We’ll see if the Phillies go through with the signing of Martinez and then if they drop out of the Halladay-running soon thereafter.

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