For the past several days, Ruben Amaro and the Phillies have been in close contact with free agent pitcher Pedro Martinez. The team is reportedly close to a deal that would put Pedro in a Phillies uniform as the club's fifth starter.
The fireballing right hander isn't what he used to be—a future Hall of Famer with three Cy Young awards, eight All-Star selections, and four ERA titles. He is on his last life as a starting pitcher.
Maybe even past his last life.
In limited action last season for the Mets, Pedro posted a 5.61 ERA and new career worsts in home runs per nine innings (1.6), strikeouts per nine innings (7.2), base runners per inning (1.5), and adjusted ERA (75).
His velocity of his fastball—a pitch that hit in the upper 90s a decade ago—is down to 91 or so, according to reports from the Phillies' front office who watched him throw a few simulated innings on Tuesday.
Martinez has started just 25 games over the last two seasons, and it's doubtful as to whether the 37-year old can even stay healthy at this point in his career.
There have been conflicting reports coming from Philly, with some sources saying Martinez has already been signed and others saying nothing is official yet.
I don't know if Martinez can provide anything to this club that Anthony Bastardo or even a prospect like Andrew Carpenter or Kyle Drabek couldn't.
I wouldn't waste my time with a pitcher who is a shell of his former shelf.
Now Roy Halladay?
That's pretty tempting.
Halladay is 32—a little older than I realized, and he is a workhorse, having compiled over 220 innings pitched in three straight years—but he is a pretty good option.
His trade value right now is at an all-time high, but rightfully so.
Last year, Halladay won 20 games, posted a 2.78 ERA, and led the American League in innings pitched (246), complete games (9), shutouts (2), WHIP (1.053), and strikeout to walk ratio (5.28).
This year, his 10 wins put him just one behind Tim Wakefield's 11 for the league lead in wins. Halladay also sports an impressive 2.79 ERA and an AL-best 1.3 walks per nine innings.
He is arguably the game's top pitcher.
From what I hear, the Phillies would have to give up a lot to get Halladay. I have heard rumors of two or three top pitching prospects, plus the team's top offensive prospect (Lou Marson), and J.A. Happ as well.
That's a lot of prospects to give up, but Halladay is a fabulous pitcher who would provide an instant upgrade to the Phillies' staff.
With Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, the Phillies would feature arguably the top 1-2 pitching punch in all of major league baseball.
And I think it would make the Phillies the best team in baseball, putting the defending World Champions in prime position to repeat.
In other Philly news, Shane Victorino secured the final spot on the National League All-Star team, beating out Giants' third basemen Pablo Sandoval.
Victorino is hitting .308 for the season, including .464 over the last week. He ranks second in the NL in runs scored (61), sixth in stolen bases (15), and second in triples (6).
Add in his lights out defense for the first-place Phillies and Victorino is more than a worthy All-Star candidate.
Phillie fan favorite Chase Utley made the team as a starter for the third straight year. Utley is having his usual under the radar, MVP quality season, with a .306 average, 19 home runs, and 60 runs batted in.
Raul Ibanez made the team as a starter, the first time in his career the 37-year old has qualified for the Midsummer Classic. Despite time on the DL, Ibanez has 22 home runs and 59 RBI to go along with a .312 batting average.
Ryan Howard made the team as a reserve.
Howard is batting just .252 for the year. His walks are down, his slugging percentage is down, and he only has two intentional walks, but the fact of the matter is Howard's 21 home runs and 63 RBI make him one of the most dangerous hitters in the league for his ability to crank one at any given time.