*** Baldelli Ready To Sign With The Red Sox...Smoltz Will Follow ***
Good morning. I awoke to good news on this Thursday morning. Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli is said to be ready to sign with the Boston Red Sox and become their fourth outfielder. He has been hampered by a mitrochondrial disorder, a disease that causes people to tire easily. A re-evaluation by Boston this offseason determined that Baldelli suffers from a less serious and more treatable form of channelopathy. He has a .281 career batting average with 52 home runs and 234 RBIs, and he'll fit in quite nicely for the Sox. He is expected to sign a one year deal. And wait...there's more good news.
MLB dot com has reported that Braves pitcher John Smoltz will alert Atlanta that he has accepted a $5.5 million offer from Boston. He is coming off shoulder surgery but should be ready to go sometime in May. His career record is 210-147 with a great 3.26 ERA and 154 saves. If he is needed in the bullpen, he has proven that he can do it, but the Sox will want him to be a starter. It all depends on the pitching staff's health, and HIS health. Shoulder surgery takes so much work to come back from in everyday life. Think what kind of rehab a pitcher has to do! Performance bonuses could bring that $5.5 million to $10 million.
What do I think of this? I'll tell you...the Sox need a fourth outfielder and Rocco Baldelli, a New England native, wanted to play for a team near his home base. He got his wish. He'll fill Coco Crisp's role quite nicely and his bat can sometimes be sizzling. As for John Smoltz, Boston has five bona fide starters without him with a couple more waiting in the wings, but Wakefield is injury prone and Beckett is coming off an odd 2008 filled with nagging injuries here and there. He didn't come close to his '07 form. If he does in '09, the Red Sox will be in the thick of it once again. If.
And so it goes, life in the baseball off-season. Ups and downs, twists and turns, all seemingly at once. But it was a good Thursday morning for the Sox. I hope their plans reap a bountiful season and an exciting and long October. I have a great feeling about this. But I've always been an optimist, even in the bleakest of circumstances. As always, BE WELL. I'll link the Boston Globe article...just click on the title of this post. L'chaim (to life). What else is there?