If you recall when Fox announced that Reynolds and Verducci would be in the booth with Buck, I said at the time that if Fox was going to go with a three-man booth that instead of including Reynolds, they should have included Smoltz (who was in the mix for the lead analyst job at that time as well). I have long been a fan of Smoltz in the booth and I think he is one of the top analysts in the sport right now. There is a reason why ESPN reportedly went hard after him
The Buck-Reynolds-Verducci booth never really seem to jell and it was an odd mix. The problem was not with Verducci who I think has done a pretty fine job as an analyst despite his unusual background for such a gig as neither a former player nor a former coach. Verducci was always well-prepared (not a shocker there) and brought an unique perspective to the booth. It looks like Fox will be keeping him around as an analyst and that's a welcome development in my opinion.
The problem really centered more around Reynolds who never really was a good fit in the booth. Even as I liked him more than a lot of people did, he always seemed to me to be more comfortable working as a studio analyst than on live action. Plus, his bad joke about the baseball exploits of Canadians wasn't really a good look (even as that whole brouhaha got a little overblown in my opinion) but I don't think that was a rationale behind making this move. Richard Deitsch reports that Fox currently has no role for Reynolds but the honchos seem to want to keep him around so take that as you will.
All in all, I think this is an upgrade for Fox and Smoltz should be able to team with Buck to form a pretty strong broadcast booth. Who knows, maybe Smoltz will be able to help out with a lot of people's irrational hatred of his new partner.