10:28pm: Buster Olney agrees Smoltz is on the verge of a deal with the Red Sox. Olney wonders if Boston’s rotation surplus will allow them to trade a young starter. Ken Rosenthal also confirms it, and says the Braves were not willing to guarantee significant dollars.
9:58pm: MLB.com’s Mark Bowman says Smoltz will call the Braves tomorrow morning to tell them he will sign with Boston. The incentives in the deal are said to be "very attainable." Does this push Tim Wakefield to the bullpen during the summer? It’s a good problem to have.
9:20pm: In addition to Rocco Baldelli, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Red Sox may be close to signing John Smoltz.
As of last night, sources indicated that Smoltz was leaning toward Boston’s offer which was said to be somewhere in the vicinity of $5.5 million guaranteed with the opportunity to earn a few million in incentives which could hike the salary up to $10 million. The Sox and Smoltz have been talking since before the Winter Meetings. The Sox do not anticipate that Smoltz will be ready until later in May, but one of the incentives being discussed would be a roster bonus if he’s with the team by June 1.
Smoltz will be 42 in May and made $14MM with the Braves last season. It would be quite a surprise to see him leave the Braves after all these years.