Yankees passed on Pedro – twice

Remember the other day when Pedro Martinez said that he embraced the ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ chants at Yankee Stadium, because the Yankees fans really wanted him on their side?

Quick refresher: “I know they really want to root for me.  It’s just that I don’t play for the Yankees, that’s all.  I’ve always been a good competitor, and they love that.  They love the fact that I compete.  I’m a New Yorker, as well.  If I was on the Yankees, I’d probably be like a king over here.”

Well, the Bombers had the chance — twice — to make Pedro into ‘royalty,’ and passed both times. Here’s good stuff from Christian Red in the New York Daily News:

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that in both instances, there was a slim chance that Martinez was going to sign with the Yankees, but for very different reasons. Five years ago, Martinez’s monetary demands were one hurdle for George Steinbrenner and Cashman, but the more serious concern was the righthander’s long-term durability.

“At that time we had internal information about his health that turned out to be accurate,” Cashman said yesterday after the Yankees’ workout at Citizens Bank Park. “We thought he was going to break down and he did.”

… A source familiar with the meeting said that Steinbrenner even teased Martinez about his unruly hair at the time, and said that if the righthander did sign, he would have to get a haircut. Instead, Martinez went across town to Flushing, where he helped the Mets win the NL East in 2006, but was a disappointing 8-7 over the final two years of his deal.

This past summer, Cashman said Martinez was asking for $5 million for half a season, which was too rich for even the Yankees. Martinez eventually signed with the defending champion Phillies for $1 million, plus incentives.

“We took a look at him, but he didn’t throw well in front of us. They said he was throwing 95. He was throwing 87, 88,” said Cashman. “What he showed us wasn’t what we were told. He was looking for $5 million. When he recalculated his demand, he didn’t tell us about it. We might have had interest.”

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