12/01/2003 2:09 PM ET
Pedro wants to stay with Red Sox
BOSTON -- When Curt Schilling held his negotiations with the Red Sox last week, one of his foremost concerns was that ace Pedro Martinez, who is entering the final season of his contract, was in the team's long-term plans.
|By Ian Browne / MLB.com
He obviously became convinced of that. For after Schilling was unveiled as a member of the Red Sox on Friday evening, he didn't talk about pitching with Martinez solely in 2004.
"I spent two and a half, three years here, with a guy [Randy Johnson] whose plaque is just awaiting the end of his career. It was a lot of fun. It pushed me to do some things I never thought I could do," said Schilling. "I foresee the same situation pitching with a guy like Pedro for the next four years."
Schilling is contractually obligated to the Red Sox for the next three seasons, and there's a mutual option -- based on performance incentives -- that will likely extend the deal to a fourth season.
Martinez is due to make $17.5 million in his seventh season with the Red Sox, but he hopes it won't be the end of his ride in Boston -- particularly with a co-ace like Schilling on board.
"For me it would be a pleasure to negotiate with Boston," Martinez told the Associated Press over the weekend. "In baseball there are no guarantees, but obviously we are a better team with Schilling. Boston has the option of negotiating with me. It's something that I will leave up to them, but if it doesn't happen, I will go into my last season, and I'll do my job."
Last month, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein indicated that the club was likely to have a dialogue with Martinez this winter regarding his future.
"The relationship between management and Pedro is great right now, and we're going to keep the dialogue open," said Epstein. "I'm sure there will come a point when we discuss his future. Whether we have protracted negotiations like we did with him in Spring Training remains to be seen. As Pedro himself pointed out, he is signed for next year."
Epstein and other Red Sox officials are scheduled to make a trip to the Dominican Republic later this month to open a baseball academy.
In his interview with the Associated Press -- which took place in the Dominican Republic -- Martinez indicated that there could be negotiations when the Sox come to open the academy.
The extension Schilling signed with the Sox is worth $25.5 million over two years, and the option would be $13 million.
The way the market is going, the 32-year-old Martinez will likely have to take a significant decrease from his 2004 salary in order to remain with the Red Sox.
In a conference call with the Boston media on Nov. 7, the three-time Cy Young Award winner sounded open to that possibility.
"I have to understand that if I don't put up the same numbers that I did in '99 and 2000, and from '97 on, I'll probably get a little bit of decrease in salary," he said. "But it's still pretty good money in the market. I'll just settle for whatever the market has to offer and enjoy the game."
With Schilling at his side, things should be even more enjoyable for the man who is 101-28 since joining the Red Sox.
Martinez went 14-4 in 2003 while leading the Major Leagues with a 2.22 ERA.