According to an interview by the New England Sports Network, future Hall of Famer John Smoltz wants to come back to pitch for the Cardinals in 2010.
And the Cardinals seem to be pretty open to the idea.
Smoltz said in the interview that he thinks he made the right decision to sign with St. Louis even though his other option was to sign with the Dodgers, the team that swept the Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs.
Starter John Smoltz looked odd wearing something other than a Braves uniform when he arrived in St. Louis. But he hopes to give Cardinals fans a whole season of getting used to him in red. AP photo.
"St. Louis was just a better personal fit for me," Smoltz told NESN. "At the time Los Angeles had a bigger stronghold on the playoffs, but I saw what St. Louis was putting together. It was a lot of fun to be a part of. One more run, gosh, that would be great."
Smoltz said he expects to be on the back burner with the Cardinals as they try to re-sign Matt Holliday and others. But the article said he is wiling to be patient.
"This would be a great fit," Smoltz told NESN about the possibility of pitching again in St. Louis. "This would be a scenario that wouldn't take too many minutes to make a decision."
Smoltz would be an excellent addition to the 2010 Cardinals -- at the right price -- for more than one reason.
First, the team needs to give itself some depth in pitching. With Joel Pineiro all but sure to be fone, the Birds need Kyle Lohse to pitch like the number three starter he is being paid to be. Then Smoltz can basically fill the number four spot in the rotation that Todd Wellemeyer previously held and one of the youngsters -- Mitchell Boggs, Jaime Garcia or someone else -- will hopefully hold down the fifth slot.
Second, was it a coincidence how much better Boggs, Blake Hawksworth and Jason Motte pitched once Smoltz arrived on the scene. He is an excellent mentor for the kids.
Third, while it looks like manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan are likely to be back for another season or two, they probably won't be here too long after that. So, it seems that the cardinals might want to start looking at the long term possibilities for their coaching staff. Would Smoltz make a good successor for Duncan?