Pedro Martinez is feeling so good a year after rotator cuff surgery that he's changing his mind about retiring after the 2008 season.
11/08/2007 11:32 AM ET
Pedro expects to pitch beyond 2008
"He's got a new arm," his agent, Fernando Cuza, told the Boston Herald. "He's going to pitch a few more years. As long as Pedro's having fun, he's going to pitch. And he's having fun again, so he's decided he's going to keep playing."
Martinez missed most of the 2007 season while recovering from rotator cuff surgery he had in October 2006. He returned in September and feels he is able to continue pitching, unless he suffers another arm injury.
"For the first time in a long time, he is pitching without any pain," Cuza said. "Hopefully, there will be no setbacks."
Maddux back with Padres, sets Gold Glove record: Greg Maddux will return to the San Diego Padres in 2008 after agreeing to a one-year deal with the team. Maddux was 14-11 with a 4.14 ERA. The veteran right-hander has 347 career victories, ranking ninth all-time.
"We were fortunate to work this out with Greg," general manager Kevin Towers told Padres.com. "I couldn't imagine him not being back with the team."
According to manager Bud Black, Maddux has not only provided quality pitching for the Padres, but his presence around younger pitchers like Jake Peavy and Chris Young has had a positive effect.
"He does have that ability to rub off on others just by what he does on a daily basis," Black said. "His preparation, what he does the course of the day ... players watch these type of players. When that occurs, other players get better."
Maddux was also awarded his 17th Gold Glove Award on Tuesday, setting a Major League record for most Gold Gloves. Brooks Robinson won 16 Gold Gloves as a position player and Jim Kaat won 16 as a pitcher.
Floyd puts retirement talk on hold: Free agent outfielder Cliff Floyd would like to return to his hometown team, the Chicago Cubs, for the 2008 season. But even if that can't happen, Floyd is still excited about playing next season. This after a 2007 season that saw him have to take a couple of stretches on the bereavement list when his father's health failed. Now Floyd's mother says he should play again in 2008 instead of retiring, and he's listening.
"She said that's what my dad would want me to do," Floyd, whose part-time role and subpar production (only five home runs through August) also contributed to the retirement talk, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I was just emotionally drained [late in the season], and I took the easy way out and ran from it. ...
"Now everything's calmed down a little bit, and I have the opportunity to think about my dad and how I've taken it well and all those things. I'm OK."
Floyd, who hopes to speak with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry soon, says that no matter what happens, he'll have positive memories from his time with the Cubs.
"It was first class [with the Cubs]. They treated me with so much respect going through that trying time in my life. I owe them everything," he said.
Dye takes a spot in Fall Hall: Jermaine Dye was among those on Saturday who were inducted into the Arizona Fall League's Hall of Fame after playing for the Sun Cities Solar Sox in 1995.
"This is exciting," Dye told MLB.com. "You look at the players here and they are the ones from each organization that are on the bubble of making it to the big leagues. And I remember our team here. We had a good team and everyone made it to the big leagues within two years, or at least got a taste of the big leagues.
"I like to think that this is where I got the chance to see if I could play at the big-league level. Everything worked out well."
For the Arizona Fall League (AFL), players like Dye coming back are very important.
"This gives our league added credibility that established Major Leaguers think enough of it to come back here," said AFL executive director Steve Cobb. "It tells us that their experience here was a positive one and that they truly seem honored. It makes us proud when our alumni come back this way."
Shortstop Rollins secures first Gold Glove: Jimmy Rollins, who led all shortstops in 2007 with a .985 fielding percentage (11 errors in 1,441 1/3 innings), has been awarded the National League Gold Glove -- the first of his career.
In a season that saw him also dominate as a hitter, Rollins became the first player in Major League history to have at least 30 doubles, 20 triples, 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season. He also set a Major League record with 716 at-bats, batting .296 with 94 RBIs and 139 runs scored.
Manager Charlie Manuel, talking about Rollins and the possibility of an MVP Award, said late in the season that it's quite possible he could bring home that honor, too, which will be announced on Nov. 20.
"His value is hard to explain," Manuel told MLB.com. "He's been that good for us. He plays every day and that takes a special player. He has all the credentials to be the MVP.
"The position he plays and the way he plays it is very important. Everything filters around him. He's the guy that sets our offense and he's the guy that sparks our defense."
Rogers a likely match for Tigers again: Kenny Rogers, who has recently suggested that he plans to either play in Detroit or nowhere at all in 2008, has hinted to the team that he will indeed be back next year.
He "looks like he's leaning toward coming back to play," Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told the Detroit Free Press.
"He told us before, directly, that if he made that decision, he wanted to be with us," added Dombrowski. "His representative (Scott Boras) has been very busy, with other things going on, but we're interested in him. We continue to be interested."
It's Yankees or retirement for Pettitte: Wanting more time to decide if he wants to retire or pitch again in 2008, pitcher Andy Pettitte has declined his player option with the New York Yankees, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Pettitte, who spent his first nine seasons with New York before pitching for the Houston Astros from 2004-2006, returned to the Yankees last season. He has said he will either retire or pitch for the Yankees in 2008.
"I have spoken with (Yankees general manager) Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season," Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, said Monday. "Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008, and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.
"If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees' willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time."
Pettitte, who was 11-3 after the All-Star break, was 15-9 with a 4.05 ERA in 2007.
Hunter keeps piling up the honors: The Twins are preparing for the possibility of life without Torii Hunter on the roster.
"I don't know if there's ever a good year to lose a Torii Hunter," general manager Bill Smith told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "Some of these things are inevitable. Sometimes things happen that you don't want to happen, and you have to have an alternative plan."
That alternative plan, though, will not involve finding anyone of the caliber of Hunter.
"I don't think it's realistic to tell you that if we lose Torii Hunter, we're going to replace him with another Torii Hunter," Smith said. "He has been a huge piece of this ballclub. But if we lose Torii Hunter, we're going to get the next best option we can, whether that's within our system, whether that's a trade, whether that's free agency."
Then on Saturday, Hunter was among those inducted into the Arizona Fall League's Hall of Fame, followed by the announcement on Tuesday that he'd won his seventh straight Gold Glove.
Astros looking at Matsui, Iguchi: The Houston Astros are possibly interested in free agent second basemen Kaz Matsui and Tadihito Iguchi.
"Obviously they're both very good athletes and have performed very well over here," Astros general manager Ed Wade told the Houston Chronicle of Iguchi and Matsui. "I have familiarity with Iguchi just from a distance. I live outside of Philadelphia, and even though I was working for San Diego I saw quite a few of their games after the Phillies acquired him. I know he did a very good job for them over there and was highly respected with the way he conducted himself in the clubhouse and was a good teammate.
"Matsui obviously came over here with very high expectations, and in Colorado he fulfilled those expectations. They're both very outstanding players and we'll see what happens going forward. At this point, at least, they're on our list."
Schilling back for another year with Red Sox: Since the last out of the World Series, pitcher Curt Schilling has said he wants to return to the Boston Red Sox in 2008. The right-hander will get to do so after agreeing to a one-year deal with the club.
The deal includes a series of incentives, including innings pitched, winning the Cy Young Award and weight. Schilling wrote on his blog, 38pitches.com, that the weight clause was something he came up with.
Boston general manager Theo Epstein is glad to have Schilling locked up for next season.
"We're really happy that this got done," he told the Boston Herald. "We think it's a great thing for the club and we think it will work out well for Curt as well. A lot of times players say it's not about the money then it ends up being about the money. In this case, it wasn't about the money. That's something to be commended in this day and age."
Schilling was 9-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 2007 and went 3-0 in four postseason starts.
Stairs to remain in the homeland: Matt Stairs, a native Canadian, will continue to play north of the border next season after agreeing to a two-year contract to remain with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays first approached Stairs about a new deal late in the 2007 season, a year in which Stairs his .289 with 21 home runs and 64 RBIs. Stairs, however, wanted to wait until the end of the season before talking about a new contract.
"We've been talking from the first day or second day after the season," Stairs told BlueJays.com. "I think when you talk during the season, when the sides don't come to an agreement, you don't hold grudges, but you don't want them to get mad and you don't want to get mad because of numbers.
"I just thought, 'Why bother, when we can wait until the end of the season?'"
Francoeur gets hardware for the mantle: Just three days after he got married, Jeff Francoeur won his first Gold Glove Award. The right-fielder was on his honeymoon and was unavailable for comment. However, new general manager Frank Wren expressed the organizations' feelings on Francouer winning the award.
"It's great for him that people are taking notice," Wren told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We've always taken notice. It's always a surprise to us when an opposing third-base coach tries to challenge him, because seems like more often than not the result is an out at the plate."
Francoeur joined Andruw Jones as members of the Braves to win this year's Gold Glove Award.
Penny glad to have Torre on board: The Dodgers moved quickly to address the fractured clubhouse they suffered at the end of 2007, hiring Joe Torre to be the team's manager. Torre claims respect like no other manager in the game, due to his four World Series championships with the Yankees. Veteran Brad Penny is thrilled with the acquisition of Torre.
"Last year, somebody would make a mistake and nobody would jump them, everything would always be OK," Penny told the Los Angeles Times. "Joe is going to come in here and say, 'You know, it's not OK.'"
Penny was at the press conference to announce Torre as manager and could be seen with a smile on his face.
"They'll listen now," Penny said. "Joe has the credibility of having been there. Joe will make them understand."
Howard to host baseball clinic at Penn: Ryan Howard is set to host a one-day clinic for youngsters between the ages of 7-14 on Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania's Hollenbeck Indoor Annex facility. Sponsored by Topps Co., the clinic will focus on baseball fundamentals.
In addition to Howard, several other coaches from all over Philadelphia -- from all levels -- will be on hand. Howard is very excited, he says, to be a part of it.
"I am excited to interact with the young players in the Philadelphia area," Howard told MLB.com. "I hope to teach these kids the meaning of teamwork and the fundamentals of a good swing."
-- Red Line Editorial