Pedro joins Red Sox as special assistant

By Ian Browne /01/24/2013 12:46 PM ET

BOSTON -- Pedro Martinez is coming back to the Red Sox as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.
The club announced Thursday that their former icon -- considered by some to be the best pitcher in Red Sox history -- is coming back.
"We are very excited to have Pedro on board with us and back in the Red Sox organization," said Cherington. “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." was first to report in early November that the Red Sox had a position waiting for Martinez whenever he wanted to accept it.
"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."
The three-time Cy Young Award winner pitched for the Red Sox from 1998-2004, going 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA.
Martinez was at his best in 1999 and 2000, when he won back-to-back American League Cy Young Awards. In '99, he was 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA. The following year, he might have been even better, going 18-6 with a 1.74 ERA.
The Red Sox acquired Martinez from the Expos in November 1997 for prospects Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr.
Not only was Martinez a brilliant performer, but his starts at Fenway were cultural events, with Dominican flags waving everywhere and K cards on the back wall in center field to match his every strikeout.
In Martinez’s final season in Boston, he helped the Red Sox win the World Series -- their first since 1918. His last start in a Boston uniform was a victory in Game 3 of the World Series, when he fired seven shutout innings at St. Louis.
Martinez also pitched for the Dodgers, Expos, Mets and Phillies. He will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2015.