Smoltz hopes Cardinals want him back

 ST. LOUIS (AP) - If John Smoltz had picked the other finalist for his services in August, he could be pitching in the NL championship series for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 42-year-old right-hander has zero regrets after signing with the team the Dodgers swept in the NL division series. The St. Louis Cardinals plugged Smoltz into their rotation and are considering bringing him back for a 1-year deal that could allow the pitcher to exit with a season that lives up to a career destined for the Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals believe Smoltz has plenty left, although he figures he'll be on the back burner at the start of free agency while the big-ticket items like Matt Holliday grab the headlines. He was way on the back burner last offseason while recuperating from shoulder surgery, getting a $5.5 million contract with the Red Sox in March.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.