Posted on: January 10, 2009 4:03 am

Smoltz, Penny Sign with Red Sox

So all those rumors that Atlanta Braves fans were fearing, are now in fact true.

Legendary Braves pitcher, John Smoltz has officially signed with the Boston Red Sox.

 After posting 210 W and 154 SV in 21 with Atlanta, Smoltzy leaves after 21 years of service to better his chances of finishing his career a with a World Series ring.

"Smoltz will earn a $5.5 million base salary with the Red Sox, and can earn up to $5 million in an incentive clause. The incentives include $125,000 for his first day on the active roster, $500,000 if he is on the active roster on the last day of the season, and up to $4.375 million for the number of days he is on the major league roster during the season. Miscellaneous bonuses would come into play if he wins comeback player of the year, the Cy Young or other such awards. " (
story?id=3819298 )

 Smoltz will likely start the season as the 4-5 starter, and gives the Red Sox (if healthy) the best pitching rotation in the league, head lined by Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield and the newly arrived, Brad Penny.

From a fantasy stand point, John Smoltz becomes an attractive late round pick in deep leagues or a guy to keep a watch on as a free agent. His win total will definitely rise, as well as his era and whip, if he return in early May, a 13-14 win season with a 3.70 era and 1.34 whip wouldn't be out of the question.

 As a Braves fan this is beyond disappointing even more so then when Tom Glavine signed with the enemy, the New York Mets. Many Atlanta fans are flabbergasted at John's decision. I understand the reasoning for the move, and even though it's going to hurt to see Smoltz on the back of a Red Sox jersey I will take solace in the fact that his odds of ending the season with a championship are a lot higher now.

Brad Penny like Smoltz signed with the Red Sox after enduring arm injuries in the previous season,

 "Penny signed a one-year contract worth a base salary of $5 million, but has innings-based performance incentives that could garner him an additional $3 million. Penny became a free agent after the Dodgers paid him a $2 million buyout rather than picking up his $9.25 million option. Penny, 30, is 94-75 in his career, with a 4.06 ERA and 1,032 strikeouts. He has spent his entire career in the National League." (

From a fantasy stand point Brad Penny is in the same boat as Smoltz. His era, whip and wins will most definitely rise, 15-16 w, and a 4.00 era, 1.35 whip are worth a late round flyer or early free agent pick up. In AL only leagues, Brad Penny is a must draft pitcher, but only as a #5 SP. 

 As stated in the article, this signing could well be one of the biggest steals of the free agent signing season.
All being told the Boston Red Sox have countered the New York Yankees extravagant spending spree by signing high risk/ high reward pitchers that should again make them the favourite of the East. 2009 will be a season to remember, especially the battle for AL East supremacy.
Posted on: December 28, 2008 5:51 pm

If I were a GM- Texas Rangers

Edit- This was posted on the boards a day before Wily Taveras signed with the Reds-

Here we go, I'll take the Texas Rangers, and hope that something good will happen.

First things first, the Rangers need some pitching help, and they play in a ball park that isn't kind to pitchers, so my two primary targets, Free Agents, Derek Lowe and Ben Sheets, offering them each 3 year $42 million contracts which would pay them 14 million annually. Likely less then they are seeking but they would be incentive laden (200 IP, $150,000, All Star, $50,000 etc etc), and include a $5 million signing bonus. Signing those two arms would show a commitment to winning, and a legit chance to make a run at the division title.

Knowing that the Rangers haven't been a legit contender for a number of seasons now, it can't hurt to take a few low risk high reward signings. Sign oft-injured starting pitchers Mark Prior and Randy Wolf  to incentive laden minor league contracts, that could total up to $3 million based on inning pitched, starts and days in the major (similar to the contract Chris Capuano received from the Brewers).

Secondly, given the Rangers great offense and friendly home confines, I'd spend even more money, this time locking up Adam Dunn for 5 years at $80 million (16 per), also with a $5 million signing bonus, couple the power provided by Dunn's bat, and the newest signing ( by me of course) or speedster CF Wily Taveras to a 3 year, $7 million deal, and the offense has the perfect mix of power and speed.

The roster would look roughly like this.

1-  Ian Kinsler       - 2b
2- Micheal Young - SS
3- Josh Hamilton - RF
4- Adam Dunn      - LF
5- Chris Davis      - 1b
6- Nelson Cruz     - CF
7- Hank Blalock   - 3b
8- Taylor Teagarden - C
9- Wily Taveras / David Murphy    - DH

You'll notice a noteworthy name missing, catcher/1b Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I'd hand over the catcher reins to Teagarden and Max Ramirez, and look to move Salty to the Red Sox for another highly touted prospect in pitcher Clay Buchholz.

With the two SP signings, and the Salty for Buccholz trade the pitching staff improves 110%.

1- Ben Sheets
2- Derek Lowe
3- Vincente Padilla
4- Clay Buchholz
5- Matt Harrison/ Kevin Millwood/ Randy Wolf/ Mark Prior

The bullpen is still an issue with no clear candidate for the closer role. This is were the never ending pockets of owner Tom Hicks come into play.

New closer, and even newer free agent signing, closer Brian Fuentes to a 4 year, $28 million dollar deal ($7 million annually).

Leaving Frank Francisco as the primary set up man, and CJ Wilson, Joaquin Benoit, Eric Hurley, Scott Feldson, Luis Mendoza, Mark Prior, Randy Wolf  and Dustin Tippert to compete for roles in the bull pen.

Adding a total of roughly $61.33 million in guaranteed contracts ($15 million in signing bonuses)  would demonstrate to the fans and the rest of the division, that the Rangers are ready and more then willing to play ball.
Category: MLB
Tags: Rangers, Texas
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or