Will John Smoltz pitch in 2010?

February, 11, 2010
2/11/10
11:44
AM ET
Gosh, I'd hate to see him go out like this, without a farewell tour or anything. From MLB Trade Rumors:

    Smoltz
    Smoltz
    Free agent pitcher John Smoltz was noncommittal in his talk with Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In reference to his next team, Smoltz replied, "Nothing is closed for me." He has nothing in the works and hasn't decided whether he'll wait until midseason to sign.

    Understandably, Schultz gives extra play to the possibility of a Braves reunion. It'd be a nice way to go out, and Smoltz remains in contact with Braves manager Bobby Cox. Still, as far as opportunities go, the Braves appear set with their rotation and the back end of the bullpen.

    Ten teams have expressed interest in Smoltz at various points this winter, according to reports: the Nationals, Mets, Phillies, Yankees, Cardinals, Dodgers, Mariners, Astros, Rangers, and Orioles.

A year ago, the Red Sox were pretty set with their rotation and the back end of their rotation, too. But that didn't stop them from signing Smoltz and (later) Paul Byrd, and eventually trading for Billy Wagner. But the Braves aren't the Red Sox, and it's probably true that they're not going to sign Smoltz unless they've a rotation slot to fill.

Of course it's worth mentioning that Smoltz will turn 43 in three months. It's also worth mentioning that only 10 pitchers last season started at least a dozen games and struck out at least four times as many hitters as they walked, and Smoltz was one of them (along with a bunch of stars and Ted Lilly and Koji Uehara).

Like most of the rest of the unsigned veterans who used to play in All-Star games, Smoltz probably is still good enough to play in the majors. It's just a question of money and pride.

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