Report: Billy Wagner Signs With Braves
|12.02.09 at 2:38 am ET|
That didn’t take long.
Just hours after the Red Sox made official their offer of salary arbitration to reliever Billy Wagner, FoxSports.com reported that the left-hander, whom the Red Sox acquired in August, agreed to terms on a one-year, $7 million deal to close for the Atlanta Braves. The preliminary agreement would require Wagner to undergo a physical on Wednesday.
The development is a significant one for the Red Sox. Because Wagner is a Type A free agent who declined arbitration to sign with another club, the Sox will get additional compensation draft picks next year, one that could be as high as the No. 20 overall pick (depending on whether Atlanta signs another Type A free agent), as well as a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds of the draft. That, in turn, could represent the highest Red Sox draft pick since 2003, when the team took outfielder David Murphy with the No. 17 overall pick. The sandwich pick, meanwhile, will be no worse than the No. 43 overall selection in next year’s draft.
Wagner had a 1.98 ERA in 15 games for the Red Sox. He struck out 22 batters in 13.2 regular-season innings, adding a dominant left-handed arm to the Boston bullpen. That said, part of the reason why he was acquired from the Mets in exchange for first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter and catcher Eddie Lora was because of the prospect of receiving the draft picks. To the Sox, the possibility of acquiring two high picks — accompanied by the promise of getting the services of one of the best closers in major-league history — made it more than palatable to pick up the last $3.5 million of Wagner’s 2009 salary (a number that included the $1 million buy-out of his 2010 option).
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