John Smoltz signing with Boston is the right move for him, not so much the Braves.
For years the Atlanta franchise set the standards for comforting its players, retaining dominate starting pitching and winning division titles, but this particular case officially marks the end of that era.
Obviously, Smoltz is nearing the end of his remarkable career; he’s 42-years-old and coming off a season in which he pitched in just six games.
So of course, there’s reason for Atlanta to be concerned about John’s durability, even despite the fact he’s rebounded successfully from multiply arm ailments.
Yet, Braves CEO Terry McGuirk says “I just don’t know what’s going on with him [Smoltz] right now,” “for him to walk away from that [Atlanta’s $2 million incentives-based offer] and to go to another place, I’m just shocked and surprised.
Since when should anyone be shocked or surprised that a player skips town for more money?
You pay people like Smoltz what they’re worth…and for a guy who’s won 210 games and saved 154, it’s more than the lame offer of $2 million with incentives of pitching 200+ innings.
In turn, Boston is bright enough to take a chance on Smoltz who’s won no less than 14 games since returning as a starter in 2005 (with the exception of the 2008 season).
The deal breaker: Boston offered Smoltz a higher base salary ($5.5 million) with more attainable statistical incentives for a 40+ year-old pitcher while setting no time table for his return.
If McGuirk and the Braves can’t see the value of keeping a John Smoltz, they won’t see the post season either.