The Red Sox jumped on Smoltz when the Atlanta Braves refused to budge from their guaranteed contract of $2.5 million dollars.
The Sox offered the soon to be 42-year old oft-injured pitcher $5.5 million guaranteed with incentives that push to $10 million.
Smoltz’s breakup with the Braves was a horrible one, as he apparently took the negotiations personally and felt disrespected by the Braves front office and CEO.
The Braves, in defense, said that with incentives (most kicking in if Smoltz pitched 200 innings- yeah right) could have skyrocketed to $10 million.
In other words, Smoltz left the Braves- where he has pitched for the last 21 years- over $3 million dollars.
I guess I’ll have to wait for Smoltz’s book to determine what really happened in terms of negotiations breaking down. In Tom Glavine’s book, I read about how tough negotiations with the Braves can be.
Anyway, I won’t judge Smoltz at this time. Business is business. All I have to say is that Randy Johnson got $8 million guaranteed, and Carl Pavano got $1.5 million guaranteed. Smoltz gave 21 years, and the Braves offered him $2.5 million, which seems under market value, so he went to a team willing to give him more.
On the flip side, Smoltz-42- probably doesn’t deserve $5.5 million guaranteed because of all his rotator cuff and elbow injuries. Last year, he was on the DL most of the time, and there have been years where he got paid a lot more while being on the DL. Last I checked, he didn’t return the money.
Also, Pedro Martinez, who is a lot younger, has no deal yet with anybody!
Teams have shown time and time again that THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT TENURE.
So I can see both sides of the argument.
Anyway, here’s what manager Bobby Cox said:
ďItís like losing Maddux and Glavine, all those years they become part of your family, part of your life. You hate to lose them. I wish him all the luck in the world with Boston. I guess they kind of blew his socks off there.Ē
Teammate Chipper Jones was not as politically correct, as he attacked the Braves:
“Iím pissed off. Iím really pissed. Ö Iíve said all along, every dog has his day. Today, itís Smoltzís day. I dare say my day is not far off.Ē
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