Will Wagner Come To Beantown?
Billy Wagner has asked the Boston Red Sox to guarantee that they will decline his 2010 contract option as well as not offer him salary arbitration. Pretty hefty demands from a 38-year-old pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery.
Nevertheless, the demands are clear and Wagner has the power to approve or disapprove any trade that he’s involved in. So, if Theo Epstein and the Red Sox want to acquire the $3.5 million relief pitcher, they must guarantee that he has the opportunity of pitching as a closer for another team next season.
For what would be a two-month rental, the idea of Wagner in a Red Sox uniform has rubbed some players feathers the wrong way, most notably, Jonathan Papelbon as Cinco Ocho thinks the Red Sox bullpen is “just fine” without Wagner who is sixth on the all-time saves list. Boston has until Tuesday to work out a trade with the New York Mets, but he could come to Boston if the Mets release him as the Red Sox would be responsible for the money owed to Wagner.
If Wagner proves to be healthy, he could be a valuable asset to a Red Sox bullpen that includes only one left-handed reliever in Hideki Okajima.