Weird story over the weekend as someone in the Republican party was telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s political reporter that the GOP intended to approach John Smoltz about filling the soon-to-be vacant Congressional seat currently held by John Linder. Smoltz immediately shot down the idea saying that he had no interest in elective office.
It’s a little scary that we live in an age where people involved in party politics recruit — or at least try to recruit — candidates based solely on their popularity and celebrity. I love John Smoltz the pitcher, but really, what are his qualifications for public office? Last I checked there wasn’t much need for a devastating slider in the legislative branch.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.