H/T to MLBTR, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting that Rocco Baldelli and the Boston Red Sox are close to agreeing on terms for the Rhode Island native to become the fourth outfielder for 2009. The St. Petersburg Times reported earlier this evening that Baldelli was likely to sign soon, and Peter Gammons later reported that Rocco and the Red Sox “close.”

it seems the biggest competition for Boston was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were also interested in the 27 year old Baldelli. Click here tor read the Fire Brand profile we did on Rocoo last week. Although i haven’t been able to find any concrete reports of likely terms for a deal, Dejan Kovacevic of the Post-Gazette noted his agent is looking for a short-term, heavy bonus variety contract.

Speaking of incentive-laden contracts, Cafardo is also reporting the team is likely to announce a deal with 42-year old veteran John Smoltz. Sources involved with negotiations indicate Smoltz with get a one year, $5.5 million deal with the potential to make $10 million in 2009. Smoltz is likely to return by early May and has a desire to be a starter. It is hard to imagine the Red Sox having a role or enough innings in the bullpen to keep him out of the rotation. Is this a sign of the end of the Tim Wakefield era?