Jason Bay may not be the only member of the 2009 Red Sox headed to Queens in 2010. According to the New York Daily News, Mets general manager Omar Minaya is considering 42-year-old right-hander John Smoltz to fill out the team's rotation for the coming season.
With ace Johan Santana seemingly healthy and Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez and John Maine all slotted to return, Minaya and the Mets brass — including manager Jerry Manuel — have been "particularly active in dialogue" with Smoltz's representatives. The Mets would use the 1996 Cy Young winner and eight-time All-Star as a starter, perhaps even No. 2 in the rotation behind Santana, according to the Daily News.
According to multiple sources, the Mets have been hoping to land a free-agent starter this winter to answer their pitching questions, and with Ben Sheets agreeing Tuesday to a one-year deal with the A's worth $10 million, Smoltz may be the top option left.
FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal confirmed the team's interest in the longtime Atlanta Brave via his Twitter account. "Mets' next target, after losing Sheets, looks to be Smoltz," he wrote. "They have not been aggressive on [fellow free agent Jon] Garland, according to a source."
Last year, Smoltz went 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in eight starts for the Red Sox before he was designated for assignment on Aug. 7. He was picked up by St. Louis on Aug. 19 and fared quite a bit better back in the National League, going 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA in seven starts the rest of the way with the Cardinals.
Though Minaya seemed largely content with the way his team's roster has come together to this point, he realized that there are still positions to be filled.
"Our big piece, of course, was getting Jason Bay on board," Minaya told the Daily News. "We still need to fill some other needs. … Pitching is something we have to continue to look at. There are some free agents that are available and we are talking to their agents."
Despite his struggles in 2009 and having missed much of the past two seasons, Smoltz has also drawn interest this offseason from the Cardinals, Phillies and Nationals.