August 16, 2009

The Red Sox could release Cooperstown-bound righthander John Smoltz Monday.

The team appears to be leaning that way after having difficulty finding a trade partner. The roster bonuses in Smoltz's contract have complicated trade talks.

Smoltz was designated for assignment Aug. 7, giving the Red Sox 10 days to either demote, trade or release Smoltz, who reportedly declined a request to go to the minors to consider converting back to a reliever. Smoltz was 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA with Boston.

The Dodgers, Cardinals, Marlins and Rangers have been among teams mentioned as having interest in Smoltz, 42. Smoltz, the longtime Atlanta Brave, received a guaranteed $5 million to sign with Boston, plus the bonuses.

Boston rehabbed him for months, but his start for them was less than expected.

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