John Smoltz agreed to a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, giving the 42-year-old former ace a chance to rejuvenate his career in the middle of a pennant race.
Smoltz joined the NL Central leaders shortly after he cleared waivers, following his release by Boston. He was 2-5 with an 8.33 ERA in eight starts for the Red Sox.
The Cardinals hope Smoltz can either fill a void as the fifth starter or provide right-handed relief in the bullpen. Detroit, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas and Florida also were said to be interested in signing the longtime Atlanta star.
The risk for the Cardinals is small -- Boston is responsible for the bulk of the contract. St. Louis is on the hook only for a prorated share of the major league minimum, about $100,000 through the rest of the season.
Smoltz is 212-152 with a 3.32 ERA and 154 saves in 21 seasons. An eight-time All-Star, he's the only pitcher in major league history with 200 wins and 150 saves.
Smoltz debuted with the Braves in 1988 and spent his entire career in Atlanta before signing a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Red Sox in January. Still recovering from shoulder surgery that forced him to miss most of the 2008 season, he didn't pitch until June, and never got on track in Boston.
The Red Sox cut Smoltz on Aug. 7, a day after he lost at Yankee Stadium in one of the worst starts of his career. Left-handed hitters were especially rough on him this year, batting .444 overall.
Edited by Junayd, August 19, 2009 - 01:05 PM.