Billy Wagner Agrees to Trade?

TheRopolitans has three sources confirming that Billy Wagner has agreed to a trade to the Boston Red Sox.

So far no official word from the Mets, though it could be coming soon.

No word on who the PTBNL will be, either. But since the Red Sox are taking on all of the rest of Wagner’s contract, and presumably agreeing to the lefthander’s demands regarding his option and arbitration, I get the feeling that the players will not be top-10 prospects.

Strange deal for the Red Sox, considering these caveats:

– Wagner can only pitch once every 3 days
– Wagner insisted that his option for next year NOT be picked up, so he can become a free agent
Wagner also insisted that he not be offered arbitration, so the team who signs him won’t relinquish a draft pick
– The Red Sox are taking on all of the rest of Wagner’s 2009 salary (roughly $2.7M + $1M buyout)

A healthy Wagner who can set up for Jonathan Papelbon 3-4 times a week could be a difference-maker. But a recovering Wagner who can only pitch one or possibly twice a week at most is not likely to have an impact on the stretch run.

Trading Wags means the Mets get his $2.7M off the books plus the $1M buyout that they would have had to pay if they chose not to pick up his $8M option. However, it also means the Mets will need to think long and hard about picking up J.J. Putz’s $8.6M option — if they don’t, then who is the setup man in 2010?

We won’t know how to evaulate this trade until the players coming from Boston are identified; I imagine we won’t hear about them until after the season.

** UPDATE **

Via Twitter, Bart Hubbach of the NY Post suggests that the Mets will receive two AA players, and that the Bosox WILL offer Wags arbitration (and thus get the draft picks when he signs elsewhere). Per Hubbach:

The Mets are getting two AA-level prospects. The Red Sox agreed to decline Wagner’s option but are retaining draft-pick compensation.

The top prospect on the Red Sox AA team (the Portland Sea Dogs) is 22-year-old 1B Lars Anderson, but I doubt they’d give him up for a one-month rental.

** ANOTHER UPDATE **

David Lefort of Boston.com has this to say about the players going to the Mets:

It is not expected that any more than one of the two players the Sox are giving up will come from the 40-man roster, and neither is considered an upper-tier prospect.

Translation: the Mets are likely to receive filler material. I’m betting on RHP Bryce Cox and catcher Juan Apodaca. Time will tell.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. mrs p August 25, 2009 at 2:23 pm
    Is off topic okay here? I’ve been looking into the Wilpon and Katz foundations in connection with the Madoff case. As a result, looked at a lot of other baseball financial info, too.

    It looks like Wilpon pulled a lot more money out of his foundation’s Madoff accounts than he put in. If that follows through for his many other Madoff accounts, the trustee will try to clawback a lot of money from Wilpon and Sterling.

    The other question is whether Wilpon used his Madoff accounts as loan collateral.

    My guess is the Madoff bankruptcy trustee is in negotiation with Wilpon now as well as Wilpon’s lenders.

    It looks like the Sterling office employee pension plan might have taken an $18 million Madoff hit. I wonder if the Wilpons will make the loss?

    I also took a look at the financial reports for the New York Mets Foundation. Interesting that the reports for 2005 and 2007 are missing. I’m wondering if so few people contributed to the foundation in 2007, Wilpon didn’t file out of embarrassment. Carlos Beltran’s $300k made up more than 25% of contributions in 2006. Why he is interested in donating $140k to the Greenwich CT Boys and Girls Club is beyond me. You know how much money there is in Greenwich, the hedge fund capital of the world?

    BTW, does anyone know why the Major League Baseball Association refunded $72 million to the owners in 2007? Interesting, too, that the associaton keeps all of its money in savings and temporary cash accounts.

    The players welfare fund is woefully underfunded.

    Maybe there isn’t as much money in baseball at the moment as everyone thinks.

  2. Mike August 25, 2009 at 3:49 pm
    So, um, I can’t decide if I like this move…

    On the one hand the Mets guaranteed themselves known commodities in the two players to be named…

    But on the other hand they lost out on two potential draft picks…

    Honestly my brain tells me bad move since, well, it’s the Mets, but my gut says Wags will accept arbitration with the Sox when no one else wants him. I’d rather the Mets have Putz than Wags for about the same price each in that case. Plus they could still conceivably get something worth-while for Putz. Wags had no trade value after this season from where I sit.

  3. sincekindergarten August 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm
    Well, Putz has been scratched from his appearance with the Brooklyn Cyclones tonight. Another drop in the bucket.

    The draft choices would have been nice, but what’s to say that they would be in the majors any sooner than the two AA-level prospects (yeah, I’m stretching it here)?

    The Mets are five to seven years away from being competitive again. If the Wilpons admit defeat and sell the team, that shifts to three to five years.

    I’m so exasperated now, it hurts to think about it. Notre Dame has a better chance of being in the BCS title game this year (like Lou Holtz said) than the Mets have of being in the playoffs in 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013.