Report: Pedro might retire after 2008 season to tend to ailing father

Updated: May 20, 2008, 5:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The four-year contract Pedro Martinez signed with the New York Mets in the 2004 offseason expires after this season. Will that also be the last we see of the likely Hall of Famer?

Pedro Martinez

Martinez

The rehabbing Mets pitcher told the New York Daily News for Tuesday's editions that he will mull retirement in the offseason so he can tend to his ailing 78-year-old father, Pablo, who is battling a form of brain cancer.

"It's taking a toll on me and my family, my dad's situation," Martinez told the Daily News. "I haven't been there for them. I just realized that between last year and this year I haven't been there for my family, my parents.

"That'll probably drag me away from the game a little sooner than people expect.

"After this season, I'm going to go back home and think about it and I'm going to decide."

Mets manager Willie Randolph doesn't know whether Martinez has made a final decision.

"I didn't talk to him about it or really know about it," Randolph said. "I know his dad has been ill and he's been going back and forth trying to struggle with that. But I haven't talked to him about it, so I don't know if it's really true or not."

The three-time Cy Young winner inched closer to a return to the Mets by throwing 4 1/3 innings of a simulated game Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

He'll throw a bullpen session at Turner Field before New York's game against the Braves on Wednesday.

"They want to evaluate how I look," Martinez told the Daily News. "I feel very good. … I had good pop. I could dial it up when I needed to.

"I'm healthy and if I'm healthy, I can get big league hitters out."

Martinez could return for the Mets before the end of the month, possibly for a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers from May 29-31. The pitcher suggested it might be even earlier.

"He's close to where he wants to be. He's feeling pretty good," said Randolph, who is eager to get a firsthand look at Martinez's progress.

"You can just see the crispness of his pitches, his arm action, those kinds of things, the action on his changeup," the manager added. "Just seeing him here gives you a better idea."

Martinez, who has been out since straining his left hamstring April 1 in his only start of the season for New York, threw 77 pitches.

He previously threw 55 pitches in a simulated game on May 14.

Still, Martinez's thoughts remain with his father.

"He's stable, but he's not going to get any better," he told the Daily News. "He can't take any more chemo. We're letting him have a nice end of his life. The chemo is not going to help him. If they give him the chemo that might be it.

"They told me there's nothing we can do. He's eventually going to deteriorate."

Martinez said if he does retire, it has no reflection on his situation with the Mets.

"If I do go away sooner than later, understand it's because of my family," he told the Daily News.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.