Cardinals Eyeing Smoltz For Setup Duty


Earlier this summer, the Cardinals took Julio Lugo out of the Red Sox' demotion pool. On the verge of the final stretch run toward the postseason, St. Louis is reportedly interested in another recently cut Red Sox player, pitcher John Smoltz, who was officially released from the team on Monday.

"I can confirm that a call was made today," Cards general manager John Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We're looking at a number of options for our bullpen right now. It's fair to say he is someone we have legitimate interest in."

Despite the team's six-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central, even manager Tony La Russa acknowledged the Cards' interest in the 42-year-old righty.

"I know he's one of the guys we've been looking into. When he's healthy, he's a weapon," La Russa said Monday. "I'll do whatever I'm asked to do. I think it's enough to say we have interest. We have [been interested] since the day he was designated."

Despite being 2-5 with an 8.53 ERA this season with Boston, Smoltz could be an option to pitch the eighth inning in front of Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin, who is 2-1 with 30 saves and a 1.16 ERA this season.

Meanwhile, Smoltz will likely not be heading to Detroit, another team in the mix for a playoff spot. The Tigers, who hold a two-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central, feel as though Smoltz won't fit in their bullpen.

"It's probably not a fit for us. We like our bullpen," general manager Dave Dombrowski told on Tuesday morning. "But we could still sit down and talk about it."

Other teams rumored to have interest in Smoltz are the Marlins and Dodgers.

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