Martinez and Phillies close to contract

Pedro Martinez is flying to Philadelphia today, where he will take a physical. Provided he passes, which the Phillies expect he will, the future Hall of Famer's signing is expected to be announced by Wednesday.

The Phillies watched Martinez throw simulated games in the Dominican Republic on two occasions last week -- once on Tuesday and once on Friday.

"They said they liked Pedro," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said today. "They said he threw better than he was last year and that he was in better shape."

How will Martinez, with his flashy reputation, fit into a close-knit clubhouse?

"Pedro is a professional," Manuel said. "I've never had trouble with guys in the clubhouse. Just ask him to be professional, and if we get him, I'm sure he'll go along with whatever we do."

The Phillies would likely need a starter to make at least two starts before Martinez is ready. He only threw three innings for them in each simulated game. The Phillies would like him to face minor league hitters before he returns to a major league mound.

More as we get it