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Smoltz wants to pitch next season

Smoltz wants to pitch in 2010

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ST. LOUIS -- John Smoltz doesn't know where yet, and the role may be undetermined as well, but this much is sure: The veteran right-hander does intend to pitch in 2010.

A representative of Smoltz's agents confirmed on Tuesday that Smoltz has decided he wants to pitch a 22nd Major League season. He met with his representatives at their Atlanta office on Tuesday to discuss his future.

Smoltz said after the Cardinals were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs that he would make a decision in early November as to whether he wanted to pitch again, but even then he was leaning toward a return.

Smoltz, 42, went a combined 3-8 with a 6.35 ERA in 2009 in stints with the Red Sox and Cardinals, but he fared much better after joining St. Louis. In seven starts with the Cardinals, he was 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA, collecting 40 strikeouts and nine walks in 38 innings.

The Cardinals have expressed an interest in having Smoltz back for 2010, and he acknowledged in October that he felt he was a good fit with the club. St. Louis has two rotation spots open, with Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Kyle Lohse under contract.

Smoltz filed for free agency on Thursday, the first day that eligible players could file. He is a no-compensation free agent, so regardless of whether St. Louis offers him arbitration, the Cardinals will not receive Draft picks if he signs elsewhere.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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