Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

How arbitration decisions could impact Red Sox

When the clock struck midnight and Monday turned to Tuesday, the Red
Sox had some more clarity to the market. Lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez
declined arbitration from the Braves, which means he is certainly
someone Boston will continue to pursue in an effort to shore up the
bullpen.

Having another lefty is not a be-all, end-all for
manager Terry Francona, but the Sox have long liked Gonzalez, who could
fill the void left by Billy Wagner. In essence, Gonzalez and Wagner
could swap positions as power lefties in the Boston and Atlanta
bullpen.

The question, however, is whether Gonzalez would
rather close elsewhere, an opportunity he won’t get in Boston as long
as Jonathan Papelbon is performing last call. And just because Rafael
Soriano, Atlanta’s hard-throwing righty, accepted arbitration, doesnt’
mean he can’t wind up in Boston. The Braves expect that Soriano,
feeling squeezed out by the addition of Wagner and Takashi Saito, will
be of the mind to request a trade.

Another player who has been
linked to the Red Sox who declined arbitration is third baseman Adrian
Beltre, a superb defender, albeit one whose offensive numbers have
declined in recent years. So if Boston makes a run at Beltre, you can be sure they will only do so if they have a trade worked out for Mike Lowell. Beltre is a Type B free agent, meaning the Mariners would get compensation if he leaves, but the Red Sox would not have to provide it. Ditto for Mark DeRosa, another free agent the Red Sox have kicked the tires on.

The Yankees are also in on DeRosa, who declined arbitration from the Cardinals. However, the versatile right-handed hitter, who can play corner infield and outfield, is looking for a three-year deal and would probably go somewhere where he can have a steady job, rather than play the roving utility role.  

Smoltz speaks out on behalf of Glavine

DETROIT — When you think of Tom Glavine, the first two names that come to mind are John Smoltz and Greg Maddux. The three of them formed one of the best rotations of all-time throughout the 1990s. So when Glavine was abruptly released by the Braves on Wednesday, it was unsurprising for reporters to swarm Smoltz for his opinion. The right-hander — now with the Boston Red Sox — delivered, pulling few punches.

Did Smoltz speak with Glavine after the news broke?

“I did [talk to him],” Smoltz said. “Like a lot of things lately, they handled it, let me just say, in a very interesting way. One that leaves you scratching your head. It’s unfortunate for Tommy. Obviously, you know, I’m using a very soft word of disappointed because that ain’t right. To go that far and to rehab and then right before the time, you know, do that. That’s not my problem anymore. I just feel bad for a teammate of mine that I had for a long time.”

Was the move financially motivated?

“I know too much,” Smoltz said. “Let’s just put it that way.”

Smoltz appeared to be as upset at the Braves over this, as he was back in January, when he signed with the Red Sox after getting what he felt was a low-ball offer from his former employers.

The righty seemed sincerly stung by what happened to Glavine.

“That’s just not how you treat people. He didn’t have a chance to fail at that level, if that was the issue or concern,” Smoltz said. “It’s just not how you go about it. They’re in control and they made those decisions. They’ve made a lot of them lately.”

On the situation in general, Smoltz said, “They’re going to go on and Tommy’s going to go on and do whatever he decides to do. It’s just too bad for a guy that, first time working his way back, and then pitched fairly well. To talk about his velocity is kind of funny. No one has ever talked about his velocity before.”

Does Smoltz think Glavine will pitch again this season?

 “I don’t know,” Smoltz said. “I think he’s at a point in his career where this was probably going to be the only situation that he would have gone and worked this hard to try to come back. I don’t know. I just know he didn’t retire.”

Smoltz is expected to debut with the Red Sox during the series against the Florida Marlins June 16-18. The way the schedule is set up, Smoltz could face the Braves twice in June. The teams play at Fenway June 19-21, and in Atlanta June 26-28.

Ian Browne

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