John Smoltz out of a Braves uniform?! And Baldelli’s Homecoming

John Smoltz.jpeg

There are a couple of players in baseball that we absolutely cannot imagine out of their uniform, and John Smoltz fell under this category for me. He was with Atlanta for twenty years! From 1988-2008, and he was incredible! His career record is 210-147, he has 3,011 career strikeouts, and a 3.26 ERA. The strikeouts is definitely the most impressive, he reached 3,000 against the Nationals if I’m remembering correctly. Anyway, he’s been with the Braves for SO long, it’s still hard for me to imagine him outside of a Braves uniform.

Hardball and Darion are pretty upset about it, and about the entire Braves offseason. They lost out on Burnett, Peavy, and Fucal (the Furcal situation being the most annoying in my opinion). 
Interesting thing about Smoltz is that he probably won’t pitch until around June 1. He’s going to be like the Curt Schilling of last year, only he’ll actually pitch! According to his now former manager Bobby Cox, he looks “incredible” pitching.
Rocco Baldelli.jpg
The Red Sox also acquired Rhode Island native Rocco Baldelli. The cool part is, he grew up rooting for the Red Sox **okay, no he didn’t as I just found out. Just a rumor I heard! Thanks to Julia for the correction!**, and probably dreaming about hitting home runs over the green monster (like he did in the ALCS–only he wasn’t on the Red Sox). Rocco Baldelli not only has a great name, but he also had a great start to his career. In 2003 he came in third for the Rookie of the Year awards and batted .289 with 184 hits. However he didn’t even play in 2005, and his playing time was limited from 2006-2008 because of injuries. Originally he was diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder, which causes excessive fatigue. Now, he has been re-diagnosed and has channelopathy (more on that later). Baldelli will serve as the fourth outfielder the Red Sox have been looking for. This will still let Jacoby almost everyday because Baldelli obviously can’t play everyday. Theo said that he’s been in talks with Baldelli since November! Theo, you’re so sneaky! 
Mark Kotsay.jpg
And now, Mark Kotsay could be back on the Red Sox. Kotsay will probably serve as the backup first baseman again for the Red Sox. This is good because if anyone else in the infield gets injured, Youkilis can go play their position (I am convinced that he can play anywhere–he can probably pitch too) and Kotsay can stay over at first. 
So with these two acquisitions, tons of trade rumors popped into my head, so I had a mini-panic attack yesterday. Here are a few, and why they can’t happen
1. Jacoby Ellsbury could be traded for more catching depth
This could not happen because not only has Theo made it clear that Jacoby is meant as the future, but Baldelli obviously can’t play everyday, so getting rid of Ellsbury would leave not only a serious hole in the outfield, but a serious hole in the lead off spot, and with base stealing! 
2. It is now safe to send Clay Buchholz to Texas for more catching depth now that we have Penny and Smoltz
This could not happen because Smoltz and Penny are only one year deals, and Clay Buchholz is obviously the future of pitching. I have now deemed Clay Buchholz my “project”. 
Being my “project” is a very special thing. Last year, Justin Masterson and Jed Lowrie were my projects and look how well they turned out! So now that I’ve officially decided that Buchholz is my project and that I will invest my faith in him, hopefully he will do better. 
One more thing before we go. Scott Boras really screwed Jason Varitek over. I’m not saying that he’s not coming back because I truly believe that he will. But we all would’ve been at ease by now if Boras didn’t convince Varitek to reject arbitration. It was pretty much his only chance at making $11 million per year. I’m pretty furious with Scot Boras but I realized something today. If I have even a little doubt that he’s going to come back, then he won’t, but if I put every ounce of faith that I have into Jason Varitek’s return, then I think he’ll come back. I’m not even going to doubt it anymore. I’m going to will it to be true just like Fisk and everybody willed that ball to stay fair. 
Just a quick shout out to my friend Steph. She’s one of my only friends who have looked at and read my blog, and I just wanted to thank her for that! Means a lot!
-Elizabeth

19 Comments

the Red Sox have a lot of depth to their bench.. i read a comment that mentioned the new bench players would be first-string players on another team
my guess as to the new acquisitions is that the Red Sox are getting injury-protection – with Baldelli, Kotsay, and Smoltz, the Red Sox are buying backups with track records rather than pulling call-ups with little to no time in the bigs

Elizabeth, I might be wrong but I thought I read somewhere that Baldelli wasn’t a Sox fan growing up. I bet his family is now! Boras has to take a LOT of the blame if he is the one to have recommended that Tek not accept arbitration. He would have gotten a lot more money if he had. I suspect he will resign – I don’t see anyone else wanting him. AND lucky Buchholz to have you one his side this season.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I feel sorry for the Braves. They lost some of the key players that they were going to accquire! This is sad. John Smoltz has been with the Braves for 20 amazing years, and now he’s gone. Same thing for Trevor Hoffman. He has been a Padre for 15 years. He’s gone too. Man, this is just not right!
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

I don’t know where Smoltz will pitch. Will he start or come out of the pen? Roco should be fine while I love having Kotsay back.

Bigpapi72, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Julia’s right. Baldelli said during the playoffs that he didn’t grow up as a Sox fan, but I’m sure he’s one now. As for Varitek, I can only sigh and say “Alright already! Make the deal!” Maybe he and Pettitte are sitting in a room together, placing bets on which of them will blink first.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Shout out to steph! Friends who read blogs rock. Yeah I couldn’t believe smoltz would ever be anything other than a brave but it’s gonna be like watching joe montana play for the chiefs, you just get used to it. Can’t wait to see how he holds up in that division and the A.L.
tommy
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

Levelboss: You’re right, a lot of our bench players would make first string on other teams. That’s why Coco went to the Royals so he could play everyday. Very smart the Sox are making their backups veterans, or at least people with the experience

Julia: I’m sorry you are right! My mistake for sure! Hopefully my project will come through. And like I said, I’m investing all my faith in Varitek

Hyun Young: Hoffman is also one of those players for me who it’s hard to see in another uniform

Bigpapi72: Smoltz shouldn’t be back until June, but i suspect he will start, if not he’ll be a force coming out of the bullpen. If not, Penny can always go to the ‘pen.

Jane: Varitek and Petite are in the same boat right now, except Varitek hasn’t publicly said it, but I can still tell it’s true.

Tommy: It’ll definitely be interesting to see how Smoltz holds up the AL East. Magrane from MLB Network thinks the Sox are going to win the division!

-Elizabeth

Hey, Elizabeth …

If both, John Smoltz and Rocco Baldelli don’t have any injuries, and stay healthy all year, these signings can turn out to be great moves by the Red Sox … It didn’t cost them much money, and both players will def add a lot of producton to the Sox in 2009 !!! … Also, I agree, it would be a big mistake if the Red Sox traded, Jacoby Ellsbury, and, or, Clay Buchholz [both have huge potential to be great for many years to come] … Like I stated on Julia’s blog, Ellsbury reminds me of Johnny Damon, and if the Red Sox really want to trade him, I think, Jacoby Ellsbury would be perfect in centerfield for the New York Yankees !!! … So, you think a deal can be worked out ??? … And, finally, it does look like the Andy Pettitte and Jason Varitek situations are very similar … For whatever reason, [mainly “MONEY”], both the Yankees and Red Sox are taking a hard-line stance in the negotiations with Pettitte and Varitek !!! … It seems like both teams say they want these players back; but, really do not want to sign them … It’s very frustrating, ’cause Pettitte really is the Yankees best option [as of now] as their 5th starter; and, I know you want Varitek back, ’cause the Red Sox need a catcher … And, in the whole scheme of things, we really are not talking about that much more money to sign these players !!! … Anyway, spring training will be here soon; and, there should be some news regarding Pettitte and Varitek before then !!! Take care, Elizabeth !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Boston gets all the love…(envious).

John Smoltz! I’ve always liked watching him pitch.
Nice pickups!

http://thehappyyoungster.mlblogs.com/

Hey, you guys and the Yankees need to quit signing ALL the players. Leave some for the rest of us! : )

Nice pickups, by the way!

Where does Masterson fit into your plans? Is he going to be a long reliever?
http://metsmainman.mlblogs.com

You guys are a really deep team now. It should keep you in contention with us–for a while. And I finally have a Red Sox player who I like in Rocco Baldelli.
http://newmexicanyanksfan.mlblogs.com

Jimmy: I’m glad we have a lot of depth.. I think they’re all type B free agents as well so at least it’s low risk. And you’re right, Jacoby does remind me of Damon when he was a Red Sox. But I couldn’t bear to lose another favorite player to the Yankees! I know that Petite has made it public that he’s upset with the Yankees organization but I hope Varitek isn’t too upset.

“Happy”: The Brewers just got Trevor Hoffman, that’s a great pickup as well. I hope you got to see the Brewers special (1982) on MLB Network yesterday, I was thinking of you!

Redbird Chatter: There are still plenty of free agents out there, most of them Scott Boras clients (of course..). I think Khalil Greene will work out great for you guys!

Neal: Oh I think we’ll be in contention with you guys (and the Rays) all year long! In fact, Joe Magrone (MLB Network) thinks Boston will win the division! Interesting, right? And I’m glad you like Rocco Baldelli, but there are plenty of other Red Sox players to like!

-Elizabeth

The Red Sox and Yankees scare me this season. You’ve both picked up so much talent that the AL Wild Card HAS to be coming from the East. Again. It’s gonna be weird seeing Smoltz in a different uniform. Atlanta’s lost a great pitcher. And are now stuck with Javier Vazquez in their rotation (I’m so sorry, Braves fans). Once I started following Baldelli at the end of August, I began to really enjoy him. Since he was still diagnosed with the mitochondrial disorder back then, I rooted for him, even in the last series against my Sox (which coincided with when I started following him). Good luck with your project player. That sounds like fun. If I had any idea who’ll be starting for my Sox, I’d pick a project. But I have no idea what’s going on with my boys!
Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Hey Liz!!
Haven’t talked to you in a while. I do like these pick ups, but I kind of hesitant about Smoltz. We’ll see though.
Mike

Hi, Elizabeth …

“Congratulations” on Jim Rice being voted into Baseball’s “Hall of Fame” !!! ………. Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” … http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Jen: Projects are the best, I love promising minor league baseball players, and Lisa sure loves interviewing them. Glad you like Baldelli, I hope he’ll be great for the Sox.

Thrilla: Long time no talk indeed! Bobby Cox said Smoltz is looking good, but it’s definitely reminiscent towards the Curt Schilling situation last year. Hopefully it works out!

Jimmy: Thanks! That means a lot :)

-E”liz”abeth

I think the Baldelli signing is the most interesting because when he first came up on ’03, someone said he was the next ‘Joe Dimaggio!’
TAKE THAT YANKEES!

http://thegoodofthegame.mlblogs.com

Scott: That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone– the next Joe Dimaggio! I hope that Baldelli doesn’t try and be Dimaggio, he should just be himself. That’s what happened with Yaz initially, he was trying to be Williams. But I’m glad Yaz was Yaz :)

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