If Smoltz is selling, the Braves aren't buying

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smoltz_090817.jpgHaving been released on Monday, John Smoltz is available for whoever wants him. Just don’t count on the Braves being in that mix.

“With the anticipated addition of Tim Hudson in the near future we have not pursued John Smoltz,” Wren said in an e-mail on Monday.

This is hardly surprising, given the acrimonious parting of the two sides in the spring.

But even if the breakup had been the friendliest in the history of breakups, the Braves simply don’t need him. Only the Giants (3.51) and Dodgers (3.62) have better team ERAs than Atlanta (3.68). And even before the return of Hudson, their rotation is stacked with Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens and a serviceable Kenshin Kawakami.

Atlanta’s closer situation has been an adventure, certainly, but it seems doubtful Smoltz could make it any better at this point.

And of course we already know how our resident Braves fan feels about it.

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Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.