Martinez to join Phillies

Yahoo Sports

Pedro Martinez(notes) passed his physical in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Yahoo! Sports learned, paving the way for his signing with the Phillies for the season's second half.

A news conference to announce the signing is expected to be held in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Martinez, who before the season was asking for $5 million, accepted a $1 million guarantee and can make another $1.5 million in incentives.

The 37-year-old Martinez had talked with a number of clubs, including the Rays and Cubs, but the Phillies became aggressive last week, sending special assistant Charley Kerfeld to watch him pitch last Tuesday, and the Phillies watched him again three days later.

Martinez is a three-time Cy Young Award winner who has finished in the top four in voting for the award seven times. After helping the Boston Red Sox win a World Series in 2004, he won 15 games in 2005 in the first year of a four-year, $40 million deal with the New York Mets. But he had shoulder surgery at the end of the 2006 season and won just a total of 17 games in the last three years of the deal, with hamstring and groin injuries sidelining him last season. The death of his father also weighed heavily on him last season, Martinez said.

The Mets made no attempt to re-sign Martinez, who became a free agent after the 2008 season. He pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic and pronounced himself as healthy as he has been in years, but when he sought a guarantee similar to what the Boston Red Sox gave John Smoltz(notes), clubs balked.

Martinez remained in the Dominican Republic working out, and undoubtedly will need two or three rehab starts in the minor leagues before being ready to join the Phillies.

Philadelphia has a four-game lead in the National League East, but the defending World Series champions rank 14th in the league in pitching with a 4.61 ERA. Jamie Moyer(notes) leads the staff with eight wins, but his ERA is 5.99, while ace Cole Hamels(notes) has struggled all season, losing three of his last four decisions.

GM Ruben Amaro has indicated that the Phillies would use Martinez as a starter. Martinez's signing does not preclude Philadelphia from making a bid for Toronto ace Roy Halladay(notes), who started Tuesday night's All-Star Game.