Marlins among several teams interested in Smoltz

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that the Brewers and Dodgers are interested in John Smoltz, and now Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that the Marlins are also in the mix for the 42-year-old right-hander. Rodriguez notes that Smoltz has a relationship with Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez from their time together in Atlanta and speculates that he may want to return to the NL East.
There’s really no need for teams to go after Smoltz until he’s released by the Red Sox later this week, but once that happens it’ll be interesting to see if anyone offers him a rotation spot. Every indication is that Smoltz would prefer to continue starting and Rodriguez speculates that the Marlins, for instance, could make him their fifth starter instead of Sean West or Rick VandenHurk. However, it sure seems like a move back to the bullpen would be best for everyone involved at this point.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa part ways

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.

La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.

I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.