New Home For Old Man: John Smoltz Lands With Cardinals

For those of you who follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter know that I wrote on Tuesday “Look for the Cardinals to sign John Smoltz today. Mark DeRosa is recruiting him hard.”

Well, I would like to apologize for being a day and a half off. That is because John Smoltz signed with the St. Louis Cardinals today and not Tuesday.

Smoltz has a new home in St Louis

Smoltz has a new home in St Louis

The Cardinals will be responsible for paying about $100,000 for Smoltz’s services for the remainder of the year. If Joan Rivers can spend $100,000 on her face (her roast last week was great by the way), then the Cardinals can spend $100K gambling on John Smoltz bouncing back.

The Cardinals plan to use Smoltz as their number five starter going forward. I personally feel after watching every Smoltz start in a Boston Red Sox uniform that he can no longer start in the major leagues. National League or American League – it doesn’t matter.

Should he have an easier time pitching in the NL Central than the AL East? I would sure as heck hope so. Pitching against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros should be easier than pitching against a good Baltimore Orioles’ lineup or a Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup.

But as I have said before, I see Smoltz as more of a right-handed specialist these days rather than a guy who can go three-to-four times through a lineup.

Can Smoltz get Troy Tulowitzki or Jayson Werth out in a big spot in the 8th inning in game five of the NLDS or NLCS? Yes, I think he can. But can he start Game Four against the Philadelphia Phillies and win? No, I don’t think he can.

The one thing Smoltz will have on his side will be Cardinals’ pitching coach Dave Duncan. If he can turn Kyle Lohse into a respectable pitcher, then he should be able to work wonders with Smoltz.

For the money the Cardinals are paying Smoltz, this is a very low-risk, high-reward signing.

Then again, that is what the Red Sox thought as well.


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