John Smoltz has been officially signed!
I’m sure this is the sight Braves fans have been dreading seeing, and for that I am truly sorry that I have to be the first to bring it to you. However, for Sox fans, this is a very welcome sight! I can’t wait to see him take the hill in a Sox uniform!
Brita Meng Outzen/Boston Red Sox
Happy to report that John Smoltz will be with us for the 2009 season! Smoltz was at Fenway for his press conference this morning, and my co-workers who were at the event (I was unfortunately swamped in work and wasn’t able to make it in time) said that he seems like a really nice, genuine, and intelligent guy. Luckily for us, he also happens to be one heck of a pitcher! Smoltz has long been a favorite of mine to watch from afar. He just seems like the consumate professional. And if he’s able to get back into good health at some point during the first few months of the season, we’ll be in great shape!
Smoltz has always been one of the best – a certain Hall of Famer, and while the press release below does a great job of outlining his great qualities on the field, I would bet that his experience and knowledge will be also serve as invaluable assets to our entire pitching staff – the youngsters in particular.
What are your thoughts??
All the best from a Front Office still glowing about Jim Ed,
“The Voice of the Nation”
RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT RIGHTHANDED PITCHER JOHN SMOLTZ TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
Brita Meng Outzen/Boston Red Sox
BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the team has signed free agent righthanded pitcher John Smoltz to a one-year contract through the 2009 season. No further terms were disclosed.
To make room for Smoltz on Boston’s 40-man roster, righthanded pitcher David Pauley was designated for assignment.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Smoltz, 41, went 3-2 with a 2.57 ERA in six games/five starts for the Atlanta Braves in 2008. He recorded 36 strikeouts and eight walks over 28.0 innings after spending three separate stints on the disabled list.
He began the regular season on the D.L. with right shoulder inflammation but was reinstated to the roster on April 6, going 3-2 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts before right biceps tendonitis sidelined him on April 29. He came back for one relief appearance on June 2 but landed on the D.L. with a right shoulder injury the following day. Smoltz missed the remainder of the 2008 season and Dr. James Andrews conducted surgery to repair labrum damage in Birmingham, Alabama on June 10.
The 20-year major league veteran has a 210-147 record and a 3.26 ERA in 3,395.0 innings over 708 career games/466 starts, all with Atlanta. He fanned Washington’s Felipe Lopez on April 22, 2008 for the 3,000th strikeout of his career and ranks 16th all-time with 3,011 K’s, tops in Braves history and fourth among active pitchers behind Randy Johnson (4,789), Pedro Martinez (3,117) and Curt Schilling (3,116). He also ranks among that group in career complete games (4th, 53), innings (4th), opponents batting average (4th, .235), earned run average (5th), shutouts (5th, 16), starts (5th) and wins (8th).
The Michigan native has finished among the top 10 in N.L. Cy Young Award voting five times in his career, most recently in 2006 (7th) and 2007 (6th), and received the honor in 1996 when he led the majors with 24 wins. He passed the 200-inning plateau in each of his last three full seasons from 2005-07 and has done so in a total of 10 major league seasons, tied with Jamie Moyer and Andy Pettitte for third-most among active hurlers.
Smoltz amassed a Braves record 154 saves as the team’s closer from mid-2001 through 2004, including three straight 40-save seasons from 2002-04. He is the only pitcher ever to record at least 200 wins and 150 saves in a career and one of just seven players ever to make at least 400 starts and 200 relief appearances. Smoltz led the majors with a club record 55 saves in 2002 to earn the N.L. Rolaids Relief Award and join Dennis Eckersley as the only two pitchers in big league history to post at least one season of 20 or more wins and 50 or more saves.
The eight-time All-Star is 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 207.0 innings over 40 career post-season games/27 starts. His 15 wins and 194 strikeouts during the playoffs are both all-time major league records. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NLCS after going 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts against the Pirates. In all, Smoltz helped lead the Braves to a World Series title in 1995 and N.L. Pennants in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999.
In 2007, he posted a 14-8 record in 32 starts. He ranked third in the N.L. with 197 strikeouts and finished fourth in the senior circuit with a 3.11 ERA in 205.2 innings. Smoltz led all major leaguers with 50 quality starts from 2006-07.
He has thrown 20.2 career innings at Fenway Park without allowing an earned run, the most of any big league pitcher since 1954, and is 2-0 with four saves and a 0.85 ERA in 10 total games/four starts against the Red Sox. He was originally selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 22nd round of the 1985 First-Year Player Draft and was the 2005 recipient of Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award.
ACTIVE STRIKEOUT LEADERS
4,789 Randy Johnson
3,117 Pedro Martinez
3,116 Curt Schilling
3,011 John Smoltz
2,607 Tom Glavine
ALL-TIME POST-SEASON WIN LEADERS
15-4 John Smoltz
14-16 Tom Glavine
14-9 Andy Pettitte
11-14 Greg Maddux
11-2 Curt Schilling
ALL-TIME POST-SEASON STRIKEOUT LEADERS
194 John Smoltz
145 Mike Mussina
143 Tom Glavine
139 Andy Pettitte
132 Randy Johnson
Well, as a Boston fan, it’s a beautiful sight. I won’t pretend I’m not thrilled that Smoltz will be on our side! (Were I a Braves fan, I’d probably be out rioting somewhere).
Remember the old arithmetic from 2004? (1918 + 24 (Manny) + 33 (‘Tek) + 34 (Papi) – 5 (Nomah) = 2004)?
Here’s some new math for you:
2004 + 29 – 24 = 2009….
A few years ago, Schilling helped turn the tide. Here’s to Smoltz doing the same!
I know that it is at the Braves expense, but I am delighted to have Smoltz in a Red Sox uniform. Now the question is – do we have the problem of too many starting pitchers?
I am loving this strategy of acquiring as much pitching as possible now…It brings so much flexibility down the road, as has already been pointed out by Theo. Great moves!
Now, there’s one move left to make…”Voice,” I know you’re sick of hearing it, so I’m not even gonna say it…but you know it. 🙂