Blue Jays could end up keeping Halladay (cont.)
Pedro's Phillies call will come by weekend
Martinez is talking to the Phillies about a contract for the rest of the year after impressing them in a throwing session Tuesday, and his longtime agent Fern Cuza said by phone that Martinez would have a decision by the end of the week. The Cooperstown-bound right-hander wants to sign soon so he can pitch the final two months for a contender.
One report out of the Dominican was that the sides already had an agreement for $4 million, but people involved in the talks said that was premature. Cuza's good (he signed shortstop whiz Jose Iglesias for $8 million-plus with the Red Sox and once -- along with partner Diego Bentz -- got $136 million from the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano), but it's hard to imagine Martinez getting $4 million in these economic times when his original asking price was $5 million for the entire season. Perhaps $4 million prorated (or closer to $2 million) makes sense.
Lately the Rangers have been the second team with the most consistent interest in Martinez, but it's questionable whether they could afford even a half year of Pedro now.
Around the Majors
Mets people met this week to discuss their top prospects, and which ones might be worth holding on to (though they generally believe it would be fruitless to mortgage the future now, with the team fading and so beat up). They like pitchers Jenrry Mejia and Brad Holt and slugger Ike Davis. But as Mets luck would have it, Mejia just suffered a finger injury.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel's publicly stated objective to "tread water" looks like a pie-in-the-sky goal.
Oliver Perez won his return engagement despite seven walks in five innings. Mets people weren't necessarily impressed.
Still no timetable for Jose Reyes and his hamstring-tendon injury. Not good.
Xavier Nady had Tommy John surgery Wednesday and the goal is for him is to be back close to the start of next season.
The Mariners, who are enjoying surprising success this season, have put off selling for a while as they gauge where they stand. If they do sell, pitchers Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn will be prime candidates to go.
The Mariners just signed sandwich pick and Miami high school catcher Steven Baron, who had a Duke scholarship offer, but aren't getting close yet on No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley, the former North Carolina slugger who is considered the top college hitter in the draft. Mariners people met recently with agent Scott Boras, who is seeking a Mark Teixeira-type bonus (about $10 million) for Ackley. That one, like No. 1 overall pick pitcher Stephen Strasburg, looks like it'll go down to the deadline.
Unheralded first-half hero: Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair.
Venezuelan third-base hotshot Cesar Perez, represented by the Greenberg brothers, was signed for $1 million by the Rays. Perez is only 16, so neither side is concerned that the Rays already have a third baseman named Evan Longoria.
Great call by Andruw Jones to go to Texas to work with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo when he had others offers (Yankees, Braves).
Congrats to Rickey Henderson for having his No. 24 retired in Oakland. Can't wait for his Hall of Fame speech.
Rickey is one of baseball's all-time great characters. And speaking of characters, I get 140 of 'em at a time on Twitter. I can be followed at http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman.
MLB Truth & Rumors