A Phillies source said team officials watched right-hander Pedro Martinez throw three innings in a simulated game Friday afternoon at the organization's academy in the Dominican Republic.
Phillies assistant to the general manager Charley Kerfeld watched Martinez pitch Tuesday. The club then requested a second session with Martinez to see how his arm responded. Contrary to a report, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was not in attendance Friday. He is in Philadelphia.
The source would not say what the Phillies thought about Martinez's second performance. But if they came away impressed and remained interested in signing him, they would require Martinez take a physical.
If Martinez takes a physical and passes it, he could agree to a contract with Philadelphia as early as next week.
"I feel the best I have for some time," Martinez told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The Phillies have been looking for starting pitching help for most of the season. Their rotation has a 5.06 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. In fact, they plan to pursue Halladay whether they sign Martinez or not.
Martinez is a three-time American League Cy Young Award winner, but he went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA with the Mets last season. He pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
The Phillies don't need a fifth starter again until July 20 against the Cubs because of the All-Star break, but because Martinez hasn't pitched this season, he likely would need to pitch in the Minor Leagues before he could pitch in the Majors.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.