Thursday, January 08, 2009

John Smoltz & Rocco Baldelli WILL Wear Boston Red Sox Uniforms In 2009

This just in from SI dot com...

ATLANTA (AP) -- "John Smoltz has reached preliminary agreement on a contract with the Boston Red Sox, who also agreed Thursday to a one-year contract with outfielder Rocco Baldelli.
A person familiar with the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity because the final paperwork had not been completed, said Smoltz will sign a guaranteed deal with the Red Sox worth about $5 million and also have the possibility of earning another $5 million in performance bonuses. The deal was expected to be finalized later Thursday.
Smoltz, the only pitcher in baseball history with 200 wins and 150 saves, had pitched for the Braves since 1988. The 41-year-old is coming off major shoulder surgery that sidelined him for most of last season, but feels healthy enough to pitch at least one more year.
The deal, which also was reported by several other media outlets, means that Smoltz will likely finish his career with a team other than the Braves -- a startling development given his long history with the team. He was an unknown minor leaguer when acquired from Detroit in 1987 for Doyle Alexander, but went on to become a cornerstone of Braves' teams that won a record 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005.
Smoltz apparently turned to the Red Sox after the Braves balked at giving him more than a $3 million deal, the person said. Atlanta general manager Frank Wren declined comment when reached by e-mail, and there was no immediate comment from Boston officials.
Smoltz began his career as a starter, winning 24 games and the NL Cy Young Award in 1996. Numerous elbow problems led him to shift to the bullpen to relieve the stress on his arm, and he set an NL record with 55 saves in his first full season as a closer in 2002.
After three years finishing games for the Braves, Smoltz moved back to the rotation in 2005 and didn't miss a beat, going 14-7 with a 3.06 ERA. He went 47-26 in his second run as a starter, but shoulder pain cut short the 2008 season after only six appearances.
Smoltz tried to pitch one game as a reliever, then underwent surgery to fix what he said were "five or six problems," including his labrum, AC joint and biceps.
While acknowledging that similar operations have end the careers of many others, Smoltz felt encouraged enough about his rehabilitation to begin making plans for the new season."

And from the Boston Globe, just now...

"The rest of Red Sox roster is taking shape, with the club coming to terms today with a pair of well-known players who have battled injuries and health problems in recent seasons.
Shortly after the Red Sox formally announced they had agreed to terms with former Tampa Bay outfielder and Cumberland, R.I., native Rocco Baldelli on a one-year contract, the Associated Press reported that former Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz has reached a preliminary agreement to join the Red Sox, ending his lengthy and remarkably successful association with the Atlanta Braves.
Smoltz, 41, will sign a $5 million guaranteed deal with Boston that includes the possibility of earning another $5 million in bonuses. The Smoltz deal was expected to be finalized later today according to a source familiar with the negotiations, the AP reported.
The Red Sox did not announce terms of Baldelli's contract, but a baseball source told the Globe that he will receive $500,000 guaranteed, and can earn another $1.75 million in bonuses solely for remaining on the active roster -- in other words, his salary would be $2.25 million if he remains on the active roster all season."

And from ESPN dot com...just one sentence...

"The signings of Smoltz, Baldelli and Penny also give the Red Sox the flexibility to consider trading one of their young starting pitchers -- most notably Clay Buchholz, whose name has come up in trade talks with the Texas Rangers, for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, as well as with other teams."

Peter here...wouldn't that be nice?

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