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.