Red Sox Acquire Billy Wagner From Mets
|08.25.09 at 2:22 pm ET|
The Sox were awarded a waiver claim on Wagner, who has 385 career saves, on Friday. The two teams had until Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. to work out a deal or to have the Mets grant the waiver claim (and part with Wagner for nothing). But both of those possibilities required Wagner, who has a no-trade clause, to sign off on the deal.
Over the last couple of days, reports had surfaced that Wagner planned to employ his no-trade clause to block a deal, both because the Red Sox would not agree to grant his request that he not be offered salary arbitration and out of a feeling that pitching in a more regulated environment (outside of the rigors of a pennant race) would best position him for free agency. But, in the minutes leading up to the deadline for the trade to be completed, Wagner apparently had a change of heart, deciding that the opportunity to pitch for a championship was more important than pitching on a structured schedule with an out-of-contention team.
Boston.com reported that the Sox agreed not to exercise Wagner’s $8 million option for 2010, meaning they will exercise the $1 million buyout. But the report suggested that the Sox retained the right to offer Wagner salary arbitration, which would give them two compensatory draft picks should Wagner, a Type A free agent, be offered salary arbitration and sign with another team.
While the identity of the minor-league players whom the Mets will get back has yet to be learned, New York’s primary motivation was considered to be salary relief and the risks associated with either exercising Wagner’s option or offering him salary arbitration. That being the case, the return might be expected to keep intact Boston’s top prospects.
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