John Smoltz refuses assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket

John Smoltz refused an assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket, leaving the Red Sox to trade or release the future Hall of Famer, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal:

A trade is possible because Smoltz has cleared waivers, and the Dodgers are among the teams showing interest. But any deal would require a significant financial component due to the incentives in Smoltz's contract.

Smoltz, 42, receives about $35,000 for each day he is on the active roster and other appearance-based bonuses. He also receives a $500,000 bonus if he is on the active roster and not the disabled list on the last day of the season and a $500,000 bonus if he is traded.

If Boston releases Smoltz, the Red Sox will be obligated to pay the remainder of his one-year, $5.5 million contract he signed in the offseason. If Smoltz signs with another team, Boston would receive an off-set of the pro-rated minimum salary. Under that scenario, Smoltz's new team would not have to pay him any bonus money, as the bonuses are negated once a player is released.

I don't think a trade is far-fetched. But don't expect the Sox to get much in return. Smoltz has been quite bad in his first outing in the American League and teams know that -- they're not going to pay a lot for Smoltz's services.

This is, however, a very sad end to the Smoltz era. At the beginning of the season, everyone was so excited that Smoltz was coming aboard. And then once he'd be back in June, the world would be saved because we had the John Smoltz.

And then the train came off the tracks.

This is a sad story that possibly finishes an amazing career for Smoltz.

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