The story was later confirmed in a separate report by WEEI’s Jerry Spar.
According to Browne, Cherington could hardly contain his excitement in his official announcement of the hiring:
We are very excited to have Pedro on board with us and back in the Red Sox organization. He was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers and without a doubt a beloved figure in Red Sox history. Similar to former teammate Jason Varitek, who joined the baseball operations staff in September, Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship and instruction of young players in spring training and throughout the season.
Browne quoted a written statement by Martinez as proof he is equally enthusiastic about his new job:
I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love. Ben Cherington’s meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can. I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them, and I thank them for allowing me to return to the field and help us win again. My heart will always live in Boston.
Martinez pitched in 18 major league seasons before retiring after the 2009 campaign. The right-hander had a career record of 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts.
Although he only spent seven years (1998-2004) of his career in Boston, it was there that Martinez made his most indelible mark. He had a 117-37 record and a 2.52 ERA with the Red Sox, including being part of the 2004 World Series champions.
His best season may have come in 1999, when he paced Boston with a 23-4 record, 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts. His starts became events at Fenway Park, as fans anxiously waited to see what he might do next.
A three-time Cy Young winner, including the AL award in 1999 and 2000 with the Red Sox, he also finished in the top four in four other seasons.
Martinez could have a tremendous impact on any number of Red Sox pitchers, but one who may benefit the most is prospect Rubby De La Rosa, who was acquired in last season’s mega-trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes reported that De La Rosa grew up with his grandmother acting as Pedro’s nanny. The major leaguer even taught the youngster his changeup, which was considered one of the most devastating pitches in baseball during his career.
With no prior front-office experience, Martinez’s value to the Red Sox should primarily come from evaluating talent and working with young pitchers. With the team having so many prospects on the verge of being ready for the majors, he could have enormous influence.
While he can’t teach talent, Martinez has a lot of knowledge that he can impart to the many young arms in the organization and really give the homegrown pitching a major boost. If he succeeds in that role, he’ll add a new chapter to his legendary status in Boston.
Statistics via BaseballReference
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