Bosox to Sign Baldelli – Smoltz Next?

According to various sources, the Boston Red Sox are about to sign Rocco Baldelli.

The free-agent outfielder grew up in the New England area as a Red Sox fan, and, ironically, will be receiving the Tony Conigliaro Award in Boston on Thursday. What a convenient coincidence, as many guess that the Bosox will announce the signing either at the event — which annually honors an MLBer who “best overcomes an obstacle and adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Conigliaro”. Conigliaro was an up and coming star for the Red Sox in the late 1960s, before a beanball to his face curtailed his career.

Baldelli, who had been misdiagnosed with mitichondrial disorder, has been re-diagnosed with channelopathy, which is much less severe and more manageable. All in all, a great deal for the Red Sox, who get a naturally gifted and talented young outfielder about to enter his prime years. Though the Mets desperately need a solid righthanded-hitting corner outfielder, Baldelli’s name was never whispered from the Flushing camp. Just as well, as it’s doubtful Baldelli would have turned down a chance to “go home” to Boston anyway.

In other news, the Red Sox are also on the verge of signing former Brave John Smoltz, who is recovering from shoulder surgery and won’t be able to pitch until at least June. The contract is in the neighborhood of $5.5M, with incentives that could push the deal to $10M.

Despite the fact the Mets have only two healthy MLB starting pitchers in their projected 2009 rotation, there was not much interest in Smoltz, likely due to his questionable health. Still, it wouldn’t have bothered me in the least if the Mets had taken a chance on him.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.