PHILADELPHIA -- There is a very real chance Pedro Martinez will be in the Phillies rotation after the All-Star break.
The Phillies said Thursday they had not signed the free-agent right-hander to a contract, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had no comment when asked if the team had reached an agreement with Martinez. Amaro also offered no comment when asked if Martinez is headed to Philadelphia for a physical, which is standard procedure before a player signs.
"I'm not talking about Pedro, and I haven't talked about Pedro," Amaro said.
But Martinez, 37, told The Associated Press his agent is negotiating with the Phillies.
"The Phillies saw me this past Tuesday in a simulated game and I felt very good with my fastball and all my pitches," Martinez said. "I feel the best I have for some time."
Martinez said it is up to the Phillies and his agent to finalize contract details.
Phillies assistant to the general manager Charley Kerfeld watched Martinez throw on Tuesday in a simulated game against a Phillies summer league team in the Dominican Republic and came away impressed. Martinez's fastball reportedly reached the low 90s, according to reports. ESPN.com reported that the Phillies will watch Martinez throw again at 1 p.m. ET on Friday.
The Phillies have been looking for starting pitching help for most of the season. Their rotation has a 5.03 ERA, which is 15th in the National League. A baseball source told MLB.com on Thursday night that signing Martinez would not prevent the Phillies from continuing to pursue Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay in a trade.
The Phillies recently called up right-hander Rodrigo Lopez to replace injured left-hander Antonio Bastardo in the rotation. Bastardo replaced right-hander Brett Myers, who had season-ending hip surgery last month.
Lopez pitched well in two starts, but left Wednesday's game against the Reds after the fifth inning because of inflammation in his right shoulder. He said Thursday he felt fine.
The Phillies don't need a fifth starter again until July 20 against the Cubs because of the All-Star break.
Martinez is a three-time American League Cy Young Award winner, but went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA with the Mets last season. He pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
"You can't complain about a guy who has been one of the most talented and phenomenal pitchers," Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels said. "I grew up watching him. I think it could help."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.