January 7, 2009

Red Sox Close To Deals With Baldelli, Smoltz

The Red Sox are close to finalizing a one-year contract with Rocco Baldelli. The deal is expected to be announced at Thursday night's Boston's baseball writers awards banquet.

And the Globe reports that Boston is
trying to hash out an agreement with veteran free-agent right-hander John Smoltz, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. Smoltz, 41, would likely not be able to play until late May ...

As of last night, sources indicated that Smoltz was leaning toward Boston's offer which was said to be somewhere in the vicinity of $5.5 million guaranteed with the opportunity to earn a few million in incentives which could hike the salary up to $10 million. The Sox and Smoltz have been talking since before the Winter Meetings.
Peter Gammons on Teixeira, the Red Sox and the Yankees, and Manny, Boras, and the AL East. Old Hickory sees the 2009 standings as: Yankees, Red Sox, Rays.

19 comments:

James said...

Baldelli, Smoltz, Penny and Bard vs. Sabathia, Swisher, Burnett, and Tex?

Honestly, I don't think we've fared so poorly. A lot of upside, no long term commitments... yeah, I think I'm okay with this. We can afford to trade a young pitcher if a good deal comes along, and we've got the makings of a strong bench, plus the team that has been the best team in the majors the last two years.

SoSock said...

OK, I have to admit I've always liked Smoltz, so I like this. But I don't get the "all indications are he'll get his wish to perform as a starter" part. I guess this means we're starting out the season with a temporary starter until he's ready, ala Schilling last year. Not so hot an idea, IMO, especially as it looks like we're talking about almost half the season.
The Baldelli deal has potential to be one sweet sign as well as a great story. Gotta like that!

FenFan said...

What role would Smoltz play? I know you can never have too much pitching but you have Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, and Penny already filling the rotation with Buchholz in the wings (if he's not traded). $5.5 guaranteed seems like a lot for an insurance policy.

(I can't pull a $20 out of my pocket now without grinning like an idiot.)

redsock said...

There were rumblings that Wakefield might retire, though I haven't heard much of that lately.

$5.5 guaranteed seems like a lot for an insurance policy.

It does?

redsock said...

I have to think that Smoltz would not sign with Boston if he knew there would be no place for him in May. He wouldn't pick Boston if he thought he'd be in Pawtucket.

There may be a trade in the works -- Buchholz would be the most likely, obviously, though some SoSHers were wondering about some type of Lester for Hanley deal.

andy said...

nooooooooooooo do not trade lester.

FenFan said...

I don't see Wake retiring until the Red Sox make the decision not to pick up another year.

I have to think that Smoltz would not sign with Boston if he knew there would be no place for him in May. He wouldn't pick Boston if he thought he'd be in Pawtucket.

Agreed, but I'm just trying to wrap around the idea of who from the rotation would be dropped. Making a trade that would ship Lester rather than Laptop out of Boston makes more sense since Lester is actually in the rotation as of now.

Of course, I also agree with andy's comment. Intriguing...

FenFan said...

>>$5.5 guaranteed seems like a lot for an insurance policy.

It does?


When you consider that Colon got a minor league contract last spring after making just 29 starts the previous two years, and Smoltz is coming off surgery that limited him to six games last season, then yes.

Ish said...

Trading Lester sounds like an insanely stupid move to make. If he continues to improve from the phenomenal year he had last year, he could be a Cy Young contender this year or next. Keep him!

accudart said...

I like the Penny/Smoltz signings a lot. Baldelli not as much. I would like to see the sox find a strong OF who can play CF and RF on a regular basis if needed. If they could find a way to get Salty without giving up any top sp prospects it would be a decent off season.

Pokerwolf said...

The only reason I can see the Sox being willing to trade Laptop or Lester is because they want to trade for a catcher.

It would be a really sad thing to see either of them go at this point, though.

Since Colon only made 29 starts, could the Smoltz signing work the same way? Just have him as an extra arm to give the pitching staff more rest?

phil said...

Charlie Zink reportedly DFAed to make room for Baldelli. Zink's one game last August remains one of the more hilarious Sox games in recent memory, imho. (Would've been tragic if we'd lost.)

andy said...

After surgery and 41 years
Smoltz will only be able to play gap filler.

Ish said...

Charlie Zink reportedly DFAed to make room for Baldelli. Zink's one game last August remains one of the more hilarious Sox games in recent memory, imho. (Would've been tragic if we'd lost.)

I remember that game as Don Orsillo saying "You kiddin' me!?" after Youk's three-run blast. I always snicker when I hear that.

James said...

Don't be so sure about Smoltz. The last time his ERA was over 3.5 was 1994. In 2007 he threw 205 innings with a 3.11 ERA. He could end up as a very valuable pitcher down the line.

Patrick said...

Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Penny, Smoltz, Buchholz, Bowden.

That's freaking awesome. We can have three go down and still have a rocking 5 man rotation.

I had the gut feeling today that Lester was going to get traded. It just flew into my head out of no where. It will break my heart to see him go (I have a calendar picture of him on my wall right now as Mr. January) but it makes a lot of sense.

Some people are worrying about the Yankees making a big splash this offseason, and the Sox picking up lesser names. But if we move laterally at 95 wins, that's OK with me. Gee whiz, another 95 win season?

Go Sox.

9casey said...

The only way I see Lester getting traded if it is for Mauer, not for Hanley, Even we do get Hanley ,people say he would play center , where would he bat in the lineup?


And does Yook stay at cleanup this year?

Or does Papi slip into that spot?

hollin said...

Smoltz is one of my favorite non-Sox players of all time. If he's healthy- he's going to be great as either a starter or set-up guy. And he's got great postseason #'s. If we can make it past the yanks and rays.

And it would be so great if we could get Mauer.

phil said...

Baldelli gets to wear #5. See ya, Nomar.