In 1993, on the advice of doctors that thought he was too thin and frail, Dodgers General Manager Fred Claire traded Pedro Martinez (a 10-5 pitcher the year before) for second baseman Delano DeShields.
DeShields played three seasons of mediocre ball for the Dodgers. Pedro went on to win three Cy Young Awards, go to six All Star games, lead the Red Sox to their first World Series win in a billion years and had a career ERA of 2.91. So that worked out well for the Dodgers.
Now that Pedro is well past his prime, the Dodgers may try right that wrong, sort of, by bringing Pedro back.
"I can't say we have no interest at all" (Dodgers Manager Joe) Torre said, one day after Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti told The Times' Bill Plaschke that Martinez was "somebody we're curious about."
"I share Ned's comment about the curiosity . . . especially with the ballclub trying to figure out who their fifth starter is," said Torre, who frequently faced Martinez when he managed the New York Yankees.
"Does that mean we're on the threshold of signing him? No. I don't think there's been any contact that's been made."
Torre has gone to the old double negative in a situation that was confusing enough before. So let me try to simplify it:
If the once-great but now almost washed up Jason Schmidt doesn’t pan out as the number five starter, then maybe the once-great but now almost washed up Martinez can step in. Not a bad plan, but just because Pedro threw six great innings in the World Baseball Classic does not mean he is ready to return for 150-plus innings in the bigs. Those are two different things, altogether.