Martinez's agent denies report, but says interest is there

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"There is interest on both sides, I can tell you that," said Fernando Cuza, Pedro Martinez's agent. (AP file photo)

Both the Phillies and the agent for future Hall of Fame righthander Pedro Martinez shot down reports that the two sides have reached an agreement. But talks between the two sides are very much alive, and a decision could come at some point in the near future.

"There is interest on both sides, I can tell you that," Martinez's agent, Fernando Cuza, told the Daily News Thursday afternoon.

The Phillies watched Martinez pitch a simulated game Tuesday and have been in constant contact with Martinez's camp. Cuza said that his client has other options besides the Phillies, but declined to specify how many.

Cuza said Martinez's goal is to be pitching for a Major League team once the All-Star Break ends next Thursday.

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"The Phillies saw me this past Tuesday in a simulated game and I felt very good with my fastball and all my pitches," Martinez told the Associated Press.

The three-time AL Cy Young Award winner told the AP that it was up to his agent and the Phillies to wrap up the details.

Cuza says Martinez currently has "all of his options in front of him," and is currently in the decision-making process.

"I would say Pedro is getting close," Cuza said.

Candela Deportivo, a sports periodical from the Dominican Republic, reported yesterday that the Phillies and Martinez have agreed to a contract that would pay him $4 million for the rest of the season. But Cuza laughed that off, and Phillies general manager called the report "false."

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