Thanks for the heads-up to The Unofficial Official for this tidbit, backed up by Tom Perrotto:
"The Astros are on the verge of signing a potential Hall of Famer as a free agent for the second team in a week as baseball sources indicated Tuesday night that they are close to an agreement with right-hander Pedro Martinez."
UPDATE: JJO's blog post from this evening...
There's a report that Pedro Martinez is close to signing with the Astros. That's not true. "We've absolutely had no discussions on this front," Ed Wade just told me. "We've had zero discussions." Some of you are wondering if Drayton McLane will fire somebody. In my conversation with McLane this evening, I asked him some of the things you've asked. Here's a quick rundown.
Are you selling the team? "No," he said.
Are you firing anybody? "No," he said.
Are you hiring anybody or signing anybody? "No," he said.
But this is an announcement in which McLane felt pretty confident that it will stay quiet before it is made. If it leaks, McLane says he will be very angry, so it's clear the Astros brass knows they don't want this to get out in the public before the press conference.
From Ken Gurnick, who regularly covers the Dodgers for MLB.com:
"Manny Ramirez said he called Martinez on Sunday morning after hearing media reports that Martinez might be coming to the Dodgers.
"He said he has two options," said Ramirez. "I don't know what he's going to do. He has to do what's best for him."
Gurnick is reporting that Pedro's asking price is (or "was") a Smoltzian contract: $5.5 million guaranteed with at least that much in incentives.
I'll tell you this much, there's no way the Astros are going to pay that much for Pedro. If his price comes down, maybe. Who the heck am I to say?