Nov 17, 2009, 4:53 PM EDT
A source told FOXSports.com that the Cardinals, Dodgers, Mets, Mariners, Astros, Rangers and Orioles have expressed early interest in free agent John Smoltz.
That there are three AL clubs in the group of seven teams is a bit of a surprise. It figured that the interest in Smoltz would be mostly concentrated among NL teams, given that Smoltz went 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in eight starts for the Red Sox last season. He was 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA in seven starts for St. Louis.
The report indicates that Smoltz is open to the possibility of returning to closing duties next year. That may just be an effort to give him more bargaining power, though. Smoltz has always preferred starting, and he seems more likely to hold up physically working every five or six days than he would given a reliever’s workload. Plus, it’s a lot easier to sneak in a round of golf when you know exactly when you’ll be pitching.
So, while Smoltz will weigh all offers, his best chance of adding to his Cooperstown resume would come as a starter in the National League. A return to St. Louis would make a lot of sense, given pitching coach Dave Duncan’s track record with veteran starters. The Dodgers, Cubs and Brewers could use him as well.
- Alex Rodriguez is the all-time AL RBI champion. Sorta. 62
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 80
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak: Matt Adams out 3-4 months, possibly the year, with torn quad 58
- Bryce Harper leads in the first round of National League All-Star voting 29
- Buster Olney: The Marlins should hire A-Rod to be their next manager 51
- Breaking down the Braves-Dodgers trade 19
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 34
- So that Juan Uribe trade to the Braves is back on … 11