Braves Pick Up Smoltz' Option

The Atlanta Braves exercised their option Friday on the contract of former Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz, who missed the season because of a torn ligament in his right elbow.

Smoltz, 33, will earn $8 million next season. He is 157-113 with a 3.35 ERA in 356 game over 11-plus seasons.

Smoltz's elbow troubles began in 1994 when he had arthroscopic surgery during the strike. He won 24 games two years later but went on the disabled twice in 1998 and twice again in 1999 because of elbow trouble.

Atlanta declined its $3,375,000 option on Wally Joyner and will pay a $350,000 buyout.

Joyner, a 15-year veteran, backed up Andres Galarraga at first base and hit .281 with five home runs and 32 RBIs. The Braves acquired Joyner from San Diego along with Reggie Sanders and Quilvio Veras in December 1999 in for Ryan Klesko and Bret Boone.

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