Pedro Martinez could have ended up in Cleveland in 1997
In 1997, the Florida Marlins became the fastest-winning World Series franchise in history. Founded in 1993, the Marlins defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games four years later to become world champions.
With Pedro Martinez in the rotation, would the Indians have won this ultimate series? It makes sense to think that adding the one who won his first Cy Young Trophy that same year with the Expos would have written a much different storyline.
Sharing the board of MLB Network with Pedro, John Hart, the general manager of the Indians at the time, confirms that it would have been possible for him to get his hands on the best pitcher of the moment while wearing the tricolor colors of the Canadian team.
Let us remember that the following year, the man who is still considered one of the best gunners to play for the Expos today, headed for Boston.
Hart was the engineer for many years in Cleveland. Under his watch, the Indians won six division titles in ten years, while competing in two World Series.
Today, Hart’s decision not to take action and deal with the Expos is considered the worst in Indian history.
But, in his defense, the Indians of the day, like the team today, are not considered to be the most generous and their leaders administer the concession very tightly.
Hart confirms that he discussed this with the owner of the time, Richard Jacobs, and the latter then allegedly asked him how much Pedro’s services would cost in the years to come. The general manager would then have answered him: it will be very expensive. This would have dissuaded senior management from taking action.
In 1997, the Indians felt confident having in their rotation several veterans with the Orel Hershiser, Jack McDowell and Jose Mesa to support their time ace, Bartolo Colon. Add to that the fact that a young gunner, Jaret Wright, held the team’s attention and was seen as the future of the club.
We can now speculate and say that the dominance of the Indians of the time would have been even longer and more prosperous, but this transaction, which never took place, will be etched in the memory of the fans of the team.
The main player, Pedro Martinez, preferred to laugh and mentioned that the manager of the Indians of the time, Mike Hargrove, had not chosen him as the starter of the All-Star Game held in 1998.