Cheap Seats

Smoltz and Looper

Former Cardinals starter John Smoltz may be close to reaching a deal with the Mets... a place where he pretty apparently isn't very excited about playing.

Smoltz, according to the New York Post, is asking for at least $3 million -- down from the $5 million plus he was said to be asking at the end of the 2009 season -- and he is conspicuously holding off inking a deal for as long as possible.

The Cardinals, according to numerous sources, seem to be leaning strongly toward using reliever Kyle McClellan as their fifth starter. If that doesn't work out, newly acquired former Cubs and Orioles starter Rich Hill is the alternate. So there is little chance they are going to spend $3 million on option no. 3.

Meanwhile... Former Redbirds reliever turned starter Braden Looper may be close to a deal.

Looper said yesterday that he was offered a contract by the Washington Nationals -- But he plans to go "in another direction."

There was some talk of a Mets reunion for Looper. But it's hard to imagine because he was not at all a fan favorite when he left after his stint with New York as a closer. Mets fans at spring training games between the Birds and the Mets are absolutely brutal toward Looper.