Wagner OK’s trade to Red Sox


Despite a public tiff with current Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner is heading to Boston. Despite rumors last night that he would decline the trade, the left-handed reliever, 11 months removed from Tommy John Surgery, has approved a trade to the Red Sox, Jon Heyman reported a few minutes ago. Wagner has looked dominant in his rehab appearances and has thrown two scoreless innings with four strike outs for the Mets this month. The Red Sox will ship two players to be named later to New York and will pay Wagner a little over $3 million — a little over $2 million for this year plus a $1 million buyout for 2010 — for five weeks of regular season pitching.

Last week, I had urged the Yankees to claim Wagner, and in the end, one of the two teams that could block the Yankees from acquiring the lefty did so. While Wagner, poor October track record notwithstanding, is a weapon in any bullpen, I believe the Red Sox made this move as much to block the Yanks as they did to improve their own team. Such are the ways of late-season trade machinations.

Categories : Asides, Transactions


  1. And by the way, my post on how much the Yanks should pay their outfielders and which ones they should sign will be back at 3 p.m. Keep these comments Wagner-specific please.

  2. Tony says:

    Coke, Marte AND Wagner? Holy redundancy, Batman.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Here’s hoping for Gagne redux.

    • jsbrendog says:

      + accepting their arb offer this offseason and promptly

      a)sucking balls (figuratively)

      b) injured (no long term hate and i dont wish it on him but it oculd happen)

      c) literally fighting papelbon

  4. Tom Zig says:

    Billy Wagner brings the Mets Choke Artist mentality with him to the BoSox.

    My question is, what do they have to even choke away?

    • Salty Buggah says:

      But does bring the Mets injury bug too?

    • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

      Even if he did bring the Chock Artist mentality with him, you can bet that whatever pitcher the Sox are facing (Contreras, Francisco) will just choke back to help the Sox.

  5. danny says:

    good move by the sox, but i dont think wagner is the missing piece that will put them in the world series but lefty relievers are always valuable. i wonder what papelbon is thinking right now, i can see a cat fight in the near future =)

    • Tom Zig says:

      I think enough has been said on this site about the value of relievers being vastly overstated. A guy who can only pitch 1 inning at a time (not even the 9th) and not on consecutive days will not be the missing link.

  6. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    I really hope they don’t get those 2 draft picks, but oh well…. =(

    Cash better load up on the picks this offseason with all the guys coming off the books.

    • That’s the only thing I care about.

      Wagner may be a good pickup, he may be nothing special, he may be a giant flameout. For either the Sox or the Yankees.

      The main reason I wanted him, and didn’t want the Sox to get him, was the fact that it’s a no-risk/huge reward move no matter how Wagner performs, because he’s a lock to decline arb for either club and go looking for a closing gig. So, Wagner = two picks.

      I’m holding out hope that Wagner waived the NTC and approved the deal because he convinced the Sox to agree to not offer him arb. If that happened, I’m happy.

      • Chris says:

        All the reports I’ve seen/heard say the Sox retained the right to offer arbitration.

      • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

        Apparently, they are now allowed to, but that doesn’t mean that they WILL get any picks. Sometimes I wonder if the Sox solely do things so they can draft more players.

      • radnom says:

        Either that or they had to give up something of substance because he would have declined arb with the Mets as well (blocked by krod).

        Hopefully the Met’s didn’t just dump the two picks for 2.5 mil.

        Then again, it’s the Mets…..

    • Mike bk says:

      this is dumb for the mets. they are giving up a sure 1st and comp pick for two non top prospects to save 3 million bucks. if they really wanted to make that work better just fire omar.

      this is a no lose deal for the sox as they basically just bought two top 40 picks in the draft.

  7. Bill R says:

    YAWN! Who cares the Yankees have a .293 AVG against him. Not scared! And he’s never faced Swish The Dish!

  8. Chris says:

    People were ripping Minaya for demanding top talent for Sheffield, but that was a different situation. The Mets were paying Sheffield the league minimum, so they would save no money (may even lose money) if they traded him. Unless they were getting someone back that would help the major league club (either a high upside/low prob or high prob/low upside guy) then why should they help out the Giants?

    In this case, the Mets are basically trading a 1st and sandwich round pick for 2 PTBNL plus a couple million dollars. That seems like a reasonable deal.

    • In this case, the Mets are basically trading a 1st and sandwich round pick for 2 PTBNL plus a couple million dollars. That seems like a reasonable deal.

      I disagree. I know the Mets were probably severely struggling for money since the Wilpons got hammered with massive financial losses, but the two PTBNL in theory are worth less than the two high draft picks. This team needs a injection of quality young talent in the worst way. Shoulda kept Wagner and let him walk in the offseason.

      (I say in theory, because we all know the Mets would totally fuck up those draft picks anyway, so… whatevs).

      • SM says:

        Is there a chance he accepts Arb? I mean it makes sense he doesnt want option picked up if Arb would give him more money, 10.5 + raise > 8. I mean he is going to be 38 coming off major injury…

        • Mike bk says:

          it’s doubtful because he has clearly said the last couple days he wants to be a closer and he wont be with the sox which is why it was dumb for the mets to make this move with guaranteed picks coming.

      • Klemy says:

        They could definitely use some young talent. The AAA club here in Buffalo is awful. I miss the Indians’ AAA talent so much.

    • A.D. says:

      Unless they were getting someone back that would help the major league club (either a high upside/low prob or high prob/low upside guy) then why should they help out the Giants?

      Because anything is better than nothing, and its doubtful Gary Sheffield on the team or not for the last 2 months makes the team any more money

  9. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    Peter Gammons is drooling at the thought of Boston’s bullpen for the rest of the year.

  10. Salty Buggah says:

    Didn’t he say he can pitch only once in 3 days due to the doctor’s orders?

  11. Wonder if they play “Enter Sandman” when he enters games. I assume not since he won’t be the closer. Papelbon probably wouldn’t take too kindly to the Sox hyping Wagner while Papelbon’s the closer.

  12. Makavelli says:

    Theo the genius. Gamble on an old beaten down Hall of Famer just off Tommy John surgery…and when that fails…gamble on an old beaten down NON-Hall of Famer just off Tommy John surgery…LOL

  13. Now that the Sox have agreed not to pick up Wagner’s option, Phillips’ dumb speculation of this opening up the avenue to trade Papelfuck looks even worse.

    • Tony says:

      To be fair, Steve Phillips is literally the only man in America who thought the Rockies would be good.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        After I read that I wanted to check if Jeff Pearlman thought they’d be good in his prediction page that was completely ridiculous.

        Well he changed it to reflect the actual standings to make himself seem smarter! I was laughing because he really changed everything.

        • JMK says:

          That’s a good laugh. That guy has no shame. He couldn’t just man-up and admit that he was dolphins-are-stealing-my-car crazy to make the predictions he did. Instead, he found it best to be smarmy and “revise” the predictions page. Even Bill Simmons admits when he’s wrong. Pearlman, Rosenthal, his wife Cynthia, Phillips, Morgan and Gammons should all team up and create the worst baseball blog in the universe. And, just for kicks, let’s get Emmitt Smith to contribute. He doesn’t know anything about football (incredibly), either, but he’s always good for a chuckle.

        • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

          He made really good ‘predictions this time’ he must be teh reliabulz

          Chicago White Sox—I could see them adding Alex Rios. Correct!

          Boston Red Sox—Just not in the same class. David Ortiz will have a rotten year, likely plagued by steroid allegations. They’ll probably release Smoltz, and he’ll be signed by, oh, St. Louis. Correct!

          Victor Martinez will be traded to Boston. Mark my words. Holy Shit!

          I just have a hunch that everyone will get hurt and Omar will, at some point, call a press conference to humiliate himself. Fuck damn!

      • Klemy says:

        Steve Phillips proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that a blind dog can, in fact, find a bone.

    • Now that the Sox have agreed not to pick up Wagner’s option the sun has risen on another day and the world still exists, Phillips’ dumb speculation of this opening up the avenue to trade Papelfuck looks even worse looks bad, like it always does daily.


    • A.D. says:

      My thought when hearing Phillips idea on that, is:

      1. doubtful
      2. how much could they really get for Papelbon, who’s only a closer, going to be paid decently in arb, and having a down year

  14. Mark says:

    Doesn’t it seem like the Sox have spent a lot of money acquiring guys and getting rid of guys since the All-Star break? Does anyone know of a quick way that could be found out?

  15. Tank Foster says:

    Amazing how something like this can be conceived of as a screen for the procurement of draft choices only. Amazing.

    In the end, I don’t think he helps Boston much, because they already have a strong bullpen. They have enough bullpen pitchers, and they have several effective ones. His pitching an inning every other day isn’t going to change the overall scheme much there, unless someone else gets hurt obviously. Plus, he’s a lefty, which is probably less valuable than a great righty reliever in Fenway.

  16. Raf says:

    he would really be considered to be in the top 20% of closers for this year even though he only came back last week? or would the basis for his Type A designation not only be based on this current season?

  17. lily-bk says:

    i have a question about this whole waiver thing. because the yankees are in first place they can’t block any potential trades? and only teams can block yanks trades because their in first?

    • danny says:

      the yankees are in first place therefore their last on the waiver list so all of the teams above them can claim a player before the yankees can. the yankees cant block a trade because their the last team that can claim a player.

    • Your spot in a waiver claim depends on your league and the standings. Since the Mets are an NL team, NL teams had first crack at Wagner, starting with the Nats (worst team) and ending with the Dodgers (best team). Since he passed through the NL, he went through the AL and made it to the Sox (third best team) so the Angels (second best) and Yankees (best) couldn’t get him.

      In short, yes. If you’re a good team, you do not get a good waiver spot.

  18. Mike bk says:

    speaking of the fallout of draft picks some of our new ones did well today. Murphy hit his first jack and Cotham made his debut with 2 scoreless and 5k’s.

    this is the only thing i dont like about the wagner move that the sox are getting more picks to stockpile talent through the draft. wagner doesnt make them significantly better this year especially if he is only pitching every 3 days cause that is maybe 2-3 games in a short series and at most 4 in a 7 gamer depending on off days.

    • So what you’re saying is that Omar Minaya is an idiot. I agree. The Mets probably shouldn’t have traded Wagner. They probably should have declined his option and offered him arbitration.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

        So what if he accepts, after finding out his post-TJS arm+age just isnt that wanted on the market? They get stuck with him and his salary and his attitude.

      • jsbrendog says:

        ive been saying it for a loooong time now (no, not sign sidney ponson, the other one i say all the time)

        omar minaya is the worst gm. awful. disgraceful. and under contract for 3 mroe years!!! huzzah!!

    • SM says:

      Realistically, what kind of deal can Wagner expect? I know Woods got 2/20 but can wagner get that? Hoffman 1/6 seems more realistic which would be way less than his Arb number.

      • Mike bk says:

        he has enough money. if he wants to get to 400 saves just go to a team like Milwaukee or hell even Tampa who needs a closer but wont spend a large amount of money. think of it this way. he got paid 11.5 mil this year counting the 1 mil buyout to throw maybe 20 innings.

        • Whitey14 says:

          Yeah, I think at this point in Wagner’s career, the Saves are more important than the money. Doubtful he will accept arbitration from Boston unless they have traded Papelbon away. (which is what I’m hoping for, because I like Papelbon, but I loooove Billy Wagner, and trading Papelbon means he can try to set the “new market” for closers with some other team)

  19. K.B.D. says:

    Non-sensical move for the Mets. I can’t believe Omar still has a job.

    I guess I could make a joke about Minaya not liking white players and moving them for pennies on the dollar, but that wouldn’t be very classy. Maybe accurate, but surely not classy.

  20. Russell NY says:

    OMG… oliver perez coming to NY to have his knee checked…

  21. Whitey14 says:

    Why on earth if it was just a move to block the Angels/Yankees from acquiring him would the Sox go ahead and complete the trade? If they didn’t work out a deal, could he have gone back on waivers again?

    • gio says:

      Exactly. There’s no way that this move was made to block the Yankees from getting Wagner. If they really didn’t want him, why would they have gone ahead and traded for him? Without a trade, the Mets weren’t moving him, and they certainly weren’t going to pull him back and then put him on irrevocable waivers.

      If anything, this just goes to show you how the Red Sox feel about their bullpen, including Jonathan “My Mouth Looks Eerily Like an Asshole When I Look In For a Sign” Papelbon.

  22. gio says:

    Apparently, one of the guys going from the Sox to the Mets is on the 40 man roster, and thus has to clear waivers to be traded. Can the Yanks claim him to block the trade, or is this moot because technically, as a PTBNL, the trade doesn’t have to be completed until the offseason?

    • Whitey14 says:

      The only way the Yanks could block him would be if he fell all the way to them and since he has at least some promise and is really cheap, it’s doubtful a Baltimore, Kansas City or Cleveland wouldn’t claim him first.

      You’re also right about the PTBNL not having to happen until the offseason and about Papelbon’s mouth ;-)

  23. [...] Wagner OK’s trade to Red Sox | River Avenue Blues… Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner is heading to Boston. Despite rumors last night that he would decline the trade … The Red Sox will ship two players … Transactions (69 [...]

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