In a press conference today (transcript) to officially announce his signing with the Red Sox, John Smoltz showed off his #29 and said he was happy:
Words can't describe -- and I hope you don't expect me to say all the right words, because this has been an incredible week -- but I'm going to try to. What you get is a guy who loves to put on the uniform and loves to compete. I'm excited to be here.The contract is for a guaranteed $5 million with a possible $5 million in bonuses.
This city is surrounded by a ton of history and a ton of players and a ton of fans. I'm as determined and I'm as focused as I have ever been. ... To speak to how loyal I am, you must know, I am a Lions fan. So that speaks to my loyalty. I'm going to be pretty loyal to this uniform.
Smoltz said he's "miles ahead" of schedule in his rehab and believes he could be in the starting rotation by Opening Day. Theo Epstein says the Red Sox will hold him back a bit.
[We want to] put him in a position to get back to 100% and dominate at the most important times of year. For us that works backwards from October, the stretch run, and the second half of the season. ... We're going to slow it down with the big picture in mind and focus on strengthening for now ...Smoltz agreed:
Our doctors described him as a physical freak who has already overcome more than most and this is just another example. ... [W]e want to have a dominant John Smoltz and we think we're going to have a pretty effective pitcher for most of the season.
They're going to make sure that I'm ready to not only pitch, but pitch strong down the stretch and into the playoffs because that's what I like to do.Tom Glavine, Massachusetts native and teammate of Smoltz's for 16 seasons:
As his friend I'm happy for him. As a potential member of the Braves I'll be sad not to have him in the clubhouse with me. I understand the business side of baseball. I know it's going to be fun for him playing in Boston. I'm envious that he'll be playing in Boston and I never got to play in Boston.Fun, meaningless fact: Smoltz has pitched five games in Fenway Park (dating back to 1997). In 20.2 innings, he has allowed no earned runs.
Atlanta has signed Derek Lowe to a 4/60 contract.