A few significant signings from the geriatric ward:
John Smoltz signs with Boston. This is quite a surprise as Smoltz had been in Atlanta for 21 years and seemed destined to play out his time with the Braves. Boston wanted the big righty for his playoff prowess (15 postseason wins), not for what he can do during the regular season. Don’t look for Smoltz to go to the post every fifth day as the Red Sox will probably nurse him along after missing the first two months of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He’s not a guy I’d spend a lot on at the auction, but he’s well worth a late round flyer or even a waiver wire pickup once he returns in June.
Trevor Hoffman signs with Milwaukee. The Brewers were in need of a closer last year as Eric Gagne gagged on the closer’s job and Salomon Torres retired. The veteran will close the door when given the opportunity, but will the Brewers give him enough work? Look for about 30 saves to go along with his customary sub-3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
Jason Giambi signs with Oakland. The Athletics got their BALCO boy back and he should give Oakland what they crave: good offense, without caring about defense. Giambi hits about 70 points higher when playing first base as opposed to being a DH, so keep an eye on where he “plays” defense. Oakland is a pitchers park, so don’t look for more than 25 homers and 80 RBi.
This group is a little younger, but their best days are behind them:
Jason Marquis traded to Colorado. Marquis will see higher ratios as he moves to the biggest ballpark in the Majors. Colorado is kind to pitchers in April and May (while it’s still cool), so look to trade him before the weather (and the bats) warm up. Look for 12 wins and around 100 K’s.
Milton Bradley signs with Cubs. Chicago got the switch-hitter they coveted to play right field. With many behavioral incidents in his past, Bradley is sometimes less controllable than Rosie O’Donnell at a buffet. As long as Bradley is happy, look for a line around .295/20/70.
Pat Burrell signs with Tampa Bay. The Devil Rays got their designated hitter. They wanted a guy to play OF on occasion, but Burrell’s glove is better suited for DH. The righty will provide good pop in the Tampa lineup and look for a .250/30/85 line.
Koji Uehara signs with Baltimore. Though Uehara isn’t ancient, he’s still several years on the wrong side of 30. He’s a nice addition to an awful Baltimore rotation (if settling for a #3 starter when you need a #1 is your goal), but won’t post double-digits in wins.