Smoltz Could Fade Away as a Fish

In baseball years, his arm is 847 years old

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Smoltz isn't ready to step into the corn past center field. The Marlins need help. Match made in heaven Iowa?

    There's been so much writing on the wall this season for John Smoltz, his career looks like a stock ticker. But the 42-year-old righty with the 847 year-old arm (baseball years) isn't ready to hang up his glove yet -- and the Marlins are interested.

    After two decades in Atlanta came to a close, Smoltz earned a pretty paycheck -- but ugly results -- in Boston this season: with eight starts, he only managed to go 2-5 with a 8.32 ERA, giving up 59 hits in 40 innings.  Oof.

    The final straw came last Friday, when Smoltz gave up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings against the hated Yankees. Boston gently explained they needed some space, but Smoltz refused the option of a minor league assignment and informed the Sox he was uninterested in pitching out of their bullpen. He cleared waivers on Wednesday, and the Sox have until Sunday to either trade or release him.

    So why would Florida take on a retread who was already in the Majors when half the Marlins pitchers were still in diapers?  To put it simply: he's still John Smoltz, and they're desperate for depth.

    The Fish have had issues with the back end of the starting rotation all season. They could also use a solid closer.  If Smoltz can be convinced, the bullpen is just about exhausted: at least 4 relievers have been used in each of the past 5 games, and 7 of the past 8.  If the options are dipping into Double A, or a probable future Hall of Famer who may have just felt out of place in the American League, it's pretty much a no-brainer as the Marlins are still in the Wild Card race.

    What's also compelling for Fish brass is that Smoltz comes relatively cheap.  Boston isn't likely to release him, because they'll be on the hook for the remainder of his $5.5 million contract. Instead, they're likely to trade him for next to nothing to offset his salary, and whatever team he ends up with won't be on the hook for the bonuses in his contract.

    Now that sounds like a deal right up the Marlins' alley.