NEW YORK -- The Red Sox have designated John Smoltz for assignment. Smoltz was 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in eight starts for the Sox after signing a one-year, $5.5 million contract. The Sox now have 10 days during which to either trade the right-hander or put him on release waivers.
Smoltz was designated one day after he gave up eight runs to the Yankees in just 3.1 innings. It was his fourth straight start in which he'd allowed at least five runs, the first such streak in the 42-year-old right-hander's career.
Smoltz owns a career 212-152 record with a 3.32 ERA and 154 saves. He won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996. He also owns a 15-4 record and 2.65 ERA in his postseason career, something of which the Sox were mindful when they signed the right-hander this offseason. The team hoped to allow Smoltz to spend the initial months of the season building up shoulder strength so that he would be in a position to excel in the second half and October. Instead, the right-hander struggled to put away batters, especially with a low-90s fastball that was consistently hit around the park by opposing teams.
With Smoltz designated, the Sox called up Junichi Tazawa from Triple-A Pawtucket. Tazawa is in the majors in just his first professional season after Boston signed him out of a Japanese amateur industrial league in December. For more on Tazawa's journey to the majors, see "Junichi Tazawa's Blistering Trail to the Majors."
More on Smoltz is to come.
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