January 7th, 2009

Smoltz set to sign with Red Sox

As reported by MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, John Smoltz is heading north … to New England. The Red Sox will reportedly grant him his wish to remain a starter, not to mention incentives that will bring his salary to $10 million if he’s healthy and productive, and the chance to do it all for a team with World Series expectations.

Given a Boston Globe report that the Red Sox had been talking with Smoltz and his agent since before the Winter Meetings, the Tigers didn’t stand much of a chance, even with the Michigan connection.

Vance Wilson signs with KC

He signed a minor league contract without a spring training invite. The Matt Treanor signing pretty much ended his Detroit tenure, but hopefully this will be the start of Wilson's comeback from elbow problems.

Cordero to throw for teams this week

To relay a note from last night …

Former Nationals closer Chad Cordero will be throwing for teams starting this week, an industry source confirmed. To characterize it as a showcase, however, would be a little too formal. At this point, Cordero and his representatives are encouraged enough about his progress from labrum surgery last summer that they’ve invited teams to send scouts and watch his regular throwing sessions at a training facility near his home in Anaheim. He’s currently throwing from distance off flat ground on a schedule that should put him on a mound in early February and throwing side sessions when pitchers and catchers report to camps later in the month.

The Tigers are one of several teams who have expressed interest in Cordero this offseason, and they’re expected to watch him. Reports have also said the Brewers, Diamondbacks and Nationals will watch. A slow-moving market for free-agent relievers arguably works to Cordero’s advantage, allowing him to progress and prove himself before getting a deal, potentially with a chance to close again if he can be ready for games around the start the season.