Reports have Smoltz heading to Boston

Veteran right-hander John Smoltz appears close to a deal with the Boston Red Sox according to’s Mark Bowman. An announcement could come as early as Thursday.

deal calls for a $5.5 million base salary with incentives that could
push the deal to $10 million based on performance, a Major League
source close to the negotiations told Bowman. Boston would like to use
Smoltz as a starter.

Smoltz, who will be 42 in May, has spent
his entire 21-year career with Atlanta after being acquired in a
mid-season trade with the Detroit Tigers in 1987. He was the last
player remaining from the Braves original worst-to-first season of 1991.

Boston would add Smoltz to an already strong rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield and the recently signed Brad Penny.

season, Smoltz went 3-2 in just six appearances before being shut down
with reconstructive shoulder surgery. Braves manager Bobby Cox spoke highly of Smolz’s progress in rehab while at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.

“I’ve never seen John so fired up about something in my life,” said Cox. “He loves
challenges, and he’s got a big one ahead of him. But what I saw for the
very first time out off the mound was incredibly good.”

had just completed his first throwing session off the mound in early
December in which he utilized all of his pitches, including his
assortment of breaking balls. Atlanta was hoping to gauge his rehab
further before making a formal contract offer.

During his time
in Atlanta, Smoltz became the first pitcher in history to win more than
200 games while also saving more than 150. He became just the 16th
pitcher in history to surpass the 3,000 career strike out plateau
against the Washington Nationals last April. An eight time NL All-Star,
Smoltz captured the Cy Young Award in 1996.

Losing Smoltz is the
latest in a series of disappointments for the Braves this winter,
having already lost out on the bidding for free-agent starter A.J. Burnett and infielder Rafael Furcal. Atlanta general manager Frank Wren also publicly pulled out of trade negotiations with the San Diego Padres involving 2007 Cy Young winner Jake Peavy.

Wren has stated on multiple occasions this off-season that he was monitoring the progress of both Smoltz and 300 game winner Tom Glavine, in hopes of bringing them back in 2009.


  1. ladybomber212

    I have never been more digusted than I am right now. Even though the Bombers are my team. I grew up watching Braves Baseball (born and raised in Alabama) so they will always have a piece of my heart. When I read this blasphemy on I had to find the nearest bathroom. You know the rest.


    I could have handled it better if he went to a club worth watching but BOSTON?! This is worse than food poisioning! If there was ever a fan base that hates boston worse thatn the Yankees it’s Braves fans and they use to be in Boston up until 53. They got no play or recognition whatsoever while there so the resentment runs deep. It’s like someone from the Mets going to the Yankees.

    Smoltzie was my fave…I can’t even look at him the same way again now that he has been sucked into the Black Hole that is Fenway. >=(

  2. murph2hof

    I can’t begin to say upset I am about this news. I have been a Braves fan as long as I can remember, going to at least a game/year since 1984. I’ve been through bad seasons and I’ve seen some guys leave I didn’t think would ever but when I read this it was the worst feeling I’ve had. To be honest, I thought I could break down at any time. This would be the biggest mistake on both sides. I don’t know who I would be more upset with. The Braves should offer more than 2 million and Smoltz shouldn’t be so quick to believe the Braves wouldn’t come through when his arm shows more improvement. That is unless Smoltz isn’t too sure it will improve. I CAN’T DECRIBE THE FEELING I HAVE IN MY GUT RIGHT NOW. I NEED A SICK DAY TODAY. GOOD LUCK TO ALL.


    I cannot believe that we have let our biggest asset go to another team, any team. John Smoltz is an internationally recognized BRAVE. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING????? Are you just giving up? Beacause you are GIVING AWAY TOO MUCH.
    I am such a Braves fan and have been all my life. I am sorely outraged by this. I cannot believe you let go a person of John Smoltz’s calibre. Again, Frank Wren, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?????

  4. vivabeta

    I just can’t believe this. How has the Braves’ front office gone from being brilliant to simply inept? We used to be able to lure the best in baseball to Atlanta, but now we can’t even get players who spent most of their career here to come back. I like how the reports say that now that Smoltz is leaving, the Braves are starting to talk to Derek Lowe. Well.. Smoltz was offered $2 million with incentives up to $7 million? How much will Lowe want? A guaranteed $12 million a year? Probably more? How does that make ANY SENSE? Smoltz was right to leave, because offering a legend like him that measly of a contract is an insult and the fact that the front office seemed to want an ludicrously large home town discount is embarrassing to any Braves fan. I would take a John Smoltz held together by staples over any Derek Lowe, AJ Burnett, or whoever else is available in the market. And he’s not represented by the horrible Scott Boras. What will Glavine be offered? The league minimum because he’ll retire if he doesn’t play for the Braves? Smoltz was 50% last year and it seemed like everytime he went out he struck out 10 batters each time, not to mention he’s an incredible asset to the younger pitchers.. that is, if the Braves can produce another prospect who can make it longer than 1 season in the bigs. The number 1 starter right now, and Frank Wren’s prize off season pick up, is Javier Vasquez who has a CAREER LOSING RECORD. He’s a #4 at best and I don’t care how good he looked 10 years ago in Montreal. Where’s the power hitting outfielder? Both Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn were available and could contribute 35+ HRs and 90+ RBIs. Both were picked up for reasonable salaries. I wouldn’t be particularly excited about either player, but it’s better than Matt Diaz platooning with Brandon Jones combining for about 15+ HRs and 50+ RBIs. Of course they would never sign Manny, but he might bring some excitement back to an organization that has been without an exciting new presence in quite some time. Chipper needs some help from the 4 spot, and everyone knows he’s not going to win any more batting titles without a feared presence batting behind him.

    It’s quite embarrassing to see all of the exciting movements happening in Major League Baseball, teams making trades, picking up free agents.. then you look at the Braves’ headlines and you see that they resigned Greg Norton. Great. The team is a lot worse than it was at the beginning of last year and might actually finish last this year. Hopefully Frank “The Tank” Wren is just slow moving and saving the big shot for the last minute.


    This is more of the same crap that we have had to deal with since Time Warner took over the Braves….now it’s Liberty. Owners that don’t care- I know they said they do, but that is horse@#$%. A model was set in place when Smoltzie first came on board. That model was one of a proud organizatiion that conducted itself with dignity and class and held their players and fans in the highest regard. Now it’s a joke and a tax write off. I have watched the Braves since my childhood…since Biff Pocoroba was the catcher and I watched it from my Dad’s lap and I have never been more disgusted.

  6. Elizabeth D

    I’m sorry to hear about all the Braves misfortunes this offseason. I was quite appalled myself when the Furcal signing didn’t go through! Is Boras his agent? Because Boras is making me furious! And even though I’m happy to have someone as well renowned and respectable as John Smoltz on my team, it’s still hard for me to imagine him outside of a Braves uniform! Same way I can’t imagine Tek in a Red Sox uniform. Scot Boras screwed him over as well.


    Frank Wren is an idiot. He was outmaneuvered at the Winter Meeting and botched the deal for Peavy and I’m not drinking his Kool-aid about the Furcal deal either.

    I’m disgusted.

  8. vivabeta

    I don’t even know what to think. I’m pretty sure the Padres were probably pushing for Tommy Hansen in the Peavy deal, or maybe Peavy didn’t want to come to the Braves. I don’t blame him. We’re not playoff contenders. If Smoltz was still around and Hudson wasn’t out for the year it would be a totally different story. Because the Peavy deal fell through, the Furcal deal fell through and so did the chances of getting Burnett. The funny thing is that the most glaring hole in the team was the bullpen. Now that the Braves have one of the best relief staffs in baseball, there’s no one to pitch the first 7 innings. Oh and no one besides Chipper or Canns can hit the ball over the fence. Apparently Bobby Cox called and tried to get Smoltzie to reconsider, but he said he wouldn’t change his mind. Bobby will probably retire after this year when the Braves find themselves back in the cellar.


    AHHHH. I cant believe the Braves are letting go one of their legends! Over what, a few dollars?!?! How is it that they can offer big money for free agents elsewhere but not to one of their own?


    As always when a player has to play for performance they take the guarantee. Smoltz should take the offer for incentives and finish up here, but just like Glavine go the easy route where there are idiots to pay.

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