John Somltz made these comments to Jay Busbee of Atlanta Magazine:
"I say this for the first time, without reservation, if I'm going to bust my butt and if I feel like I'm good enough and it doesn't work out here, I will be pitching somewhere else...My dream scenario would be to pitch in the playoffs again, and that's coming from a guy who's been in 13 of them. To me, that's what I'm about. So if the door gets closed here, it'll have to be explored somewhere else."
I have very little doubt this is just a ploy to get more money out of the Braves. However, its a very interesting thought to consider.
Smoltz has unbelievable numbers, even recently. His FIP's for the past three years (counting a very short 2008) are 3.44, 3.21, and 2.31. His K/BB's are outstanding at 3.84, 4.19, and 4.50. They`re not a result of just low walk totals either. He still strikes guys out. His stuff is still pretty good as well with a fastball in the low 90's.
Yes he is on the wrong side of 40 (not a typo), yes he is coming off of surgery, yes he is coming from the NL, and feel free to make as many Kevin Brown/Randy Johnson comparisons as you want. However, its something worth looking into. He`s been nothing but dominant for the past few years. If negotiations are not working out to well with the Braves could the Yankees swoop in and make him an offer?
Their are other repercussions to this as well. If Smoltz went to a team seeking pitching that may take a team out of the Sabathia sweepstakes. I do still want to emphasize I would still be shocked if he left Braves and pretty much everything I`ve wrote in this post is a complete and utter fantasy.