Major League sources have confirmed lefty reliever Billy Wagner has been claimed on waivers and the Mets have three days to make a deal. If a trade is executed, the claiming team would assume the remaining $2.7 million on this year’s contract and an $8 million club option for 2010 (with a $1 million buyout).
The Boston Globe is reporting the Red Sox are the team that put in a claim. If true, Wagner, who has spent most of his third season of a four-year, $43-million contract recovering from Tommy John surgery, would serve as a set-up reliever to Jonathan Papelbon.
Wagner’s contract includes a full no-trade clause which he said he would waive to go to a contender. Should the Mets pull him off waivers as they did Gary Sheffield, they will be unable to trade him for the rest of the season.
Wagner struck out two in a perfect inning in his first appearance of the season Thursday.
“I thought he was very good, outstanding life, even in that short appearance,” Jerry Manuel said of Wagner’s fastball, which topped out at 96 mph.
Wagner is a six-time All-Star with 385 saves and a 2.40 ERA on his resume.
There are plenty of team in need of relief help, including Tampa Bay, Florida, Anaheim, Detroit and the Chicago Cubs.