Let's suppose that
1. Boston releases him rather than trades him.
2. Smoltz is willing to go into the bullpen.
Would it be reasonable for the Rays to sign him?
We know how terrible many of his numbers are. He has been brutal against lefties although pretty effective vs. righties. He has given up a ton of home runs.
On the other hand, he still strikes out a fair number of batters and walks relatively few. From what I have read, he apparently still has good stuff. His command may be off, which may be a sign that he is done at his age, but is it also possible that it is a function of being a starter and needing to pace himself?
As a matter of fact, the first time through the lineup his stats look pretty good. Each subsequent time they get worse and worse. I suppose I am grasping at straws, but he has actually been pretty good in his first two innings. (Well, not exactly. He has allowed 5 runs in the first inning over his 8 starts, but 4 were in his first start of the year. His second innings have been brilliant. It goes downhill after that.)
Would he be an improvement over Bennett? And might his signing please those who think the Rays could use a veteran with a winning tradition on the team-and perhaps really have some effect, however small, in that regard?
There are a lot of "ifs" involved. It may be pie in the sky anyway (or arsenic in the sky perhaps), but I wonder if it is worth consideration. I don't think the bullpen is the primary concern, but anything that upgrades anywhere and costs nothing seems worthwhile.