On the ride to work yesterday morning, 98.5 The Sports Hub was talking about how Billy Wagner was not going to come to the Boston Red Sox and was not willing to waive his no-trade clause or back down from his demands of only signing with us if he were able to become a free agent next season and sign with whomever he chose. That all changed in a matter of hours. The Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox and Wagner came to an agreement before the 1:30 deadline.
This is a great move for the Red Sox. We're picking up the remainder of Wagner's contract, not touching his $8 M option for next season, but will be allowed to offer him arbitration, which would result in the Red Sox receiving two compensatory draft picks if and when another team signs him for 2010. How great is that! We're renting a much needed bullpen arm for $2 M, whether he will be successful is yet to be known, then getting two draft picks out of it for 2010.
The Bullpen Situation
We know that the Red Sox have been struggling a bit with their bullpen and have added Brad Penny recently. We also know that Daisuke Matsuzaka will be returning soon, which could land Junichi Tazawa or Clay Buchholz in the bullpen or back to Pawtucket as well. By adding Billy Wagner as in a set up role, what does that do with Daniel Bard and Okajima. Bard has been struggling recently, but Wagner and Okajima are both lefties. I'm sure the question will be answered sometime today, but ideally, I'd rather see Wagner not pitch an inning that we don't need him to and reap the benefits of the draft picks in 2010.
Thanks to phillenium1979 for the picture of Billy Wagner.