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Smoltz Could Leave Braves

It seems like every couple of years, the Braves go through contract negotations with John Smoltz.  He's been a Brave for all these years, it just seems inevitable that they'll work something out.  However, a recent quote from Smoltz makes this offseason sound a little different:

All I know is, after these last two years and with my desire to work out, I've got two or three more years, easy. I used to always be of the mind-set that if it's not here, it won't be anywhere else.  But that's not the case any more. I'll pitch somewhere else.

Smoltz, 39, is having a Cy Young caliber season.  He's got a 3.36 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 8.3 K/9 in 190 innings.  Shortly after the World Series, the Braves need to decide if he's worth $8MM for 2007.

Smoltz received a four-year deal worth $31MM in November of 1996 following his Cy Young season.  He became baseball's highest-paid pitcher at the time.  The results of the contract were 90 starts, one Tommy John surgery, and one season as closer.  His next multiyear deal was three years and $30 mil, with a club option as well.  He signed his current extension in December of 2004; it included a $6MM signing bonus to bring the average annual value to $9.3MM assuming the option is exercised.

That option, by the way, is a no-brainer.  Smoltz is worth $7.4MM next year according to Baseball Prospectus.  They project his value at just $11.5MM over the 2008-10 seasons, however.  The smart business move may be to just exercise the option and leave it at that.  That could result in a midsummer deal.  Smoltz's former team, the Tigers, could have interest if he's ever available.  Smoltz hails from Warren, Michigan and grew up in the Tigers' system.

One thing that could maybe turn a few teams off: some comments Smoltz made a couple of years ago.  I haven't been able to find out if he's amended or clarified since.  And honestly most teams would probably ignore it the way they ignore DUIs and stuff like that.

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Comments

If Smoltz doesnt get the option he could make himself some serious loot. I wouldnt be suprised if he got 3 years 39 million on the open market. He could make more per year than Zito or Schmidt

Hey Monger, What is up with the Phillies message boards discussing Juan Pierre? They are saying that 610 in Philly, and Comcast Sportsnet say its in talks.

Kyle, there is no way in hell smoltz is going to get more than zito, and prob not even schmidt. A team would have to be stupid as hell to do that.

Bdid, juan pierre isnt going anywhere.

ptk what makes you say that Smoltz has a better track record than either of those pitchers, and since his deal is going to be shorter he is more likely to have a higher per year amount. Zito and Schmidt will make a bundle but if Smoltz was a free agent his salary next year could be higher than both.

A sign the Red Sox have given up?(as they should)

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2565280

Kyle-For zito I have seen his number as high as 15 million next season. Not saying he is worth 15 million a year but will prob get it, I just dont see smoltz at 39 years old right now making that much money next year.I laugh at the team that pays zito that much though, I just pray and pray he doesnt become a cub. I will be so mad if the cubs waste money on him.

personally I think the Yankees need to make a serious offers or deals for pitching under the age of 38, like someone named Zito, Schmidt, Peavy, or Buehrle, Sabathia, Webb or even Myers from the Phillies, and figure out what the hell is up with A-Rod, if he's not happy or not capable of playing in the Bronx mentally, then trade him, its simple, the longer you drag this out, the worse its going to get

The Yankees was a better team before they got A-Rod, at least they won championships, what the hell have they done since they got A-Rod a lot of "Advil out of it". I really like A-Rod alot, but if he is not capable of playing for what he is worth and in the bronx too, then trade him to somewhere he's more comfortable playing and get something back that will benefit the team in return for long term, like experience pitching with no headaches (i.e. Pavano)!

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