Red Sox add Pedro Martinez as special assistant

Pedro Martinez said in December that he was interested in returning to the Red Sox in some capacity.

It became official on Thursday when he was named as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

“We are very excited to have Pedro onboard with us and back in the Red Sox organization,” Cherington said. “He was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers and without a doubt a beloved figure in Red Sox history. Similar to former teammate Jason Varitek, who joined the baseball operations staff in September, Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players in spring training and throughout the season.”

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Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight–time All-Star, spent seven seasons with the Red Sox beginning in 1998 and was a key part of the 2004 team that brought a World Series title to Boston for the first time since 1918.

“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said. “Ben Cherington’s meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can. I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them, and I thank them for allowing me to return to the field and help us win again. My heart will always live in Boston.”

During his 18-year major league career, Martinez was 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts in 2,827.1 innings. Among pitchers with at least 2,500 career innings in the majors, only Nolan Ryan (.204) has a lower opponent batting average than Martinez (.214).

With the Red Sox, he went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA. He also tops club records (min. 1,000 innings) with an average of 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings and a .206 opponent batting average. Among Red Sox all-time leaders, he ranks third in strikeouts (1,683), sixth in wins (117), and seventh in ERA.

Martinez won the Cy Young Award three times and was an All-Star eight times. He finished second in the 1999 MVP race, which remains a travesty given that he was 23-4 with a 2.04 ERA and fanned 313 in 213.1 innings.

Martinez could potentially have a lot to offer young pitchers in the organization. He already has a relationship with RHP Rubby De La Rosa. With the Sox having assembled a solid group of starters in Portland and Pawtucket, Martinez could make a significant contribution to the organization.

Martinez will be available to the media this afternoon. Check back for more later on.

The team announced Thursday that Martinez will join the club as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

Martinez will join his former catcher, Jason Varitek, who now serves in a similar role as a Cherington sounding board after retiring last year.

“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said in a statement.

“I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them & I thank them for allowing me to return to the field & help us win again.”

Martinez was a two-time Cy Young Award winner in Boston from 1998-2004, when he went 117-37 and helped the Red Sox win the 2004 World Series.

He is expected to help Cherington improve scouting and the development of pitching with the Red Sox.

“We are very excited to have Pedro onboard with us and back in the Red Sox organization,” said Cherington, who said Martinez will contribute to “the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players.”