Morning sports update: Pedro Martinez wanted a trade to the Yankees before coming to the Red Sox

"I was always in trade talks for three straight years."

Pedro Martinez pitching against the Yankees in the 1999 ALCS.
Pedro Martinez pitching against the Yankees in the 1999 ALCS. –Globe Archives

The Red Sox beat the Rangers on Tuesday, 12-10. Eduardo Rodriguez kept his dream of a 20-win season alive, struggling through five innings to still pick up his 19th victory of the year.

Boston continues its series against the Rangers tonight in Texas at 8:05 p.m.

Also, the Revolution are in Portland to play the Timbers tonight at 10:30 p.m. in another crucial game with playoff implications.

Pedro Martinez says he requested to be traded to the Yankees three times: In a recent “Ask Me Anything,” former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez admitted something that might surprise Boston fans: He requested a trade to the Yankees not once, but three times.

Advertisement

Of course, there’s an important piece of context. Martinez, who became a fierce rival of the Yankees during his time with the Red Sox, requested the trades before he arrived in Boston in 1998.

“[I] asked to be traded to the Yankees three times before I got to Boston,” Martinez said. “I was always in trade talks for three straight years. I was the last one left on rotation and when I was asked where I wanted to be, at that exact moment Yankees were taking off, I wanted to be somewhere I could win … this is New York, where most of the Dominicans are, I wanted to play for a team like that. They were always in the front line winning, they were a contending team.”

Then Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette landed Martinez in a trade on Nov. 19, 1997. Boston acquired the National League Cy Young Award winner for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. Martinez, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, also says he requested trades to a few other teams before the Red Sox made a move.

“I asked to be traded to Cleveland, the Orioles, and I think San Francisco in the NL because Atlanta didn’t need me.”

Advertisement

Martinez won back-to-back Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox in 1999 and 2000, putting together a dazzling record with the team. His final game pitching for Boston was Game 3 of the 2004 World Series, where he helped the Red Sox end the team’s 86-year championship drought.

Trivia: Major League Baseball set a new combined strikeout record for the 12th consecutive season on Tuesday. What Red Sox batter holds the team’s single season record for most strikeouts?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He began his career as a catcher but primarily played first base in Boston, helping the team go from worst to first in a World Series win.

More from Boston.com:

Understanding Rex Burkhead: Patriots running back Rex Burkhead scored the touchdown that sent his team to the Super Bowl last year. Still, he’s far from the best known running back in New England. In a recent profile, Patriots Wire writer Henry McKenna wrote about how Burkhead’s versatility can be traced back to his father’s failed attempts at making an NFL roster. [Patriots Wire]

Speaking of Pedro Martinez, a look back at his incredible two years of dominance:

The Fort welcomed back Kelyn Rowe: Former Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe was back at Gillette Stadium playing for Real Salt Lake on Saturday. After the game, the Revolution’s supporter section (“The Fort”) welcomed him back.

“You’ll never buy your own drink in a bar with us,” wrote the “The Rebellion” in an Instagram post, to which Rowe responded, “You may regret that bar tab.”

Advertisement

On this day: In 2000 at the Sydney Olympics, Vince Carter jumped over 7-foot-2 French center Frederic Weiss in one of the most impressive dunks of all time.

Daily highlight: Barcelona defeated Villareal 2-1 on Tuesday, with a couple of wonder strikes from Arthur Melo and Santi Cazorla.

Trivia answer: Mike Napoli (187 strikeouts in 2013)