Red Sox Memories: A common pitching thread to Red Sox championships
Red Sox GM Dan Duquette does a heist from the Expos
When a Cy Young Award winning pitcher becomes available you must take notice and explore the potential of acquiring such a talent. In this instance, the talent was only 26-years-old when Dan Duquette heisted Pedro Martinez from the Montreal Expos. The term “heist” may be over-exuberance, but history – otherwise known as hindsight – has proven that correct.
The formula would be similar in the acquisition of other deals that would follow the time stream. Young talent – especially young and controllable pitching – for a player deemed too expensive. Martinez was in the last year of his contract and the Red Sox acted quickly, signing Pedro for six-years and $75 MM after acquiring the ace.
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Martinez’s superb pitching kept the Fenway Park stands filled, the team competitive, and certainly brought Hispanics to the park. The final year was not typical of a dominant Martinez but the record of 16-9 and a 3.90 ERA was still instrumental in securing another shot at a championship.
Martinez was a terrific performer, an exuberant personality, an incredible competitor, and one of the best pitchers in baseball history.
The price? Boston shipped two young pitchers to the Expos – Carl Pavano and Tony Armas. Neither Pavano (24-35, 4.83) or Armas (48-60, 4.45) came close to Martinez’s 117-37 in his entertaining seven Boston seasons. But Martinez needed a complimentary force in 2004 and it was delivered.