I'm pretty sure I found the cure to the Chicago Cubs' bullpen woes. Problem is, they'd have to get it via the a waiver trade.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders aloud:
"On Monday, the Red Sox put John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Manny Delcarmen, and Ramon Ramirez, in addition to (Jason) Bay, on trade waivers. Of the players on the list, who would not be pulled back? The guess is all of them would be pulled back, but the issue is not black-and-white with Smoltz and Lowell. Smoltz has had limited success so far. You wonder whether a National League team would figure Smoltz could give it five or six decent innings as a starter in a less-demanding league for pitchers."
The Ludameister wonders aloud:
"What would it take for the Cubs to get John Smoltz, who converted 154 saves from 2001-2004, from Boston."
Smoltz hasn't closed since 2004 and posted 44 wins from 2005-2007 while making at least 32 starts. But since joining the Red Sox, Smoltz has been hit and hit hard as he is 2-4 with a 7.12 earned run average and a 1.500 WHIP.
As a reliever, Smoltz's K/BB ratio jumps from 2.92 to 5.60. His batting average against drops from .238 to .215. Opponents OBP dips from .296 to .254. Slugging percentages fall to .318 from .363. The WHIP slips from 1.189 to .976 while the K/9 ratio jumps to 9.6 from 7.8.
All of these are tell-tale signs to yours truly that Smoltz needs to return to the 'pen and to the National League.
Jim Hendry, I've done the dirty research work. You make it happen.