Scottsdale, Ariz. - The Montreal Expos named their asking price for star righthander Pedro Martinez, and it floored the Yankees: a four-player package including star closer Mariano Rivera, top pitching prospect Eric Milton and hot young catcher Jorge Posada.
Watson said that unless the Expos reverse their position on a 48-hour negotiating window and allow the Yankees time to talk to Martinez' agent, Jim Bronner, about a contract extension, the Expos will have to lower their demand in terms of quality and quantity. How much? "A lot," Watson said. "I'm not going to give up a whole lot for a guy we don't know we have a chance to sign."
The new twist in the Expos' request is Rivera. Though GM Jim Beattie said the Expos are interested only in players at least two years away from arbitration, another source said the Expos are interested in Rivera as potential trade bait. Beattie said the Mets are out of the running for Martinez, leaving the Indians, Orioles, Red Sox, Dodgers and Rockies as the Yankees' main competition.