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Red Sox add Pedro Martinez as special assistant

Pedro Martinez

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff/File/2010

Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez said in December that he was interested in returning to the Red Sox in some capacity.

It became official on Thursday when he was named as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

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“We are very excited to have Pedro onboard with us and back in the Red Sox organization,” said Cherington, who added Martinez will contribute to “the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players.”

Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight–time All-Star, spent seven seasons with the Red Sox beginning in 1998 and was a key part of the 2004 team that brought a World Series title to Boston for the first time since 1918.

“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.”

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During his 18-year major league career, Martinez was 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts in 2,827.1 innings. Among pitchers with at least 2,500 career innings in the majors, only Nolan Ryan (.204) has a lower opponent batting average than Martinez (.214).

With the Red Sox, he went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA. He also tops club records (min. 1,000 innings) with an average of 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings and a .206 opponent batting average. Among Red Sox all-time leaders, he ranks third in strikeouts (1,683), sixth in wins (117), and seventh in ERA.

Martinez finished second in the 1999 MVP race, which was controversial given that he was 23-4 with a 2.04 ERA and fanned 313 in 213.1 innings.

He could potentially have a lot to offer young pitchers in the organization. He already has a relationship with righthander Rubby De La Rosa, who was acquired in the August trade with the Dodgers. With the Sox having assembled a solid group of starters in Portland and Pawtucket, Martinez could make a significant contribution to the organization.

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