Wagner deal complete ….

Billy Wagner gave in on one of his two demands and accepted a deal this afternoon to the Boston Red Sox for two lower-tier minor league players to be named later. In addition, the Mets save $3.2 million, which includes a $1 million buyout for next season.

WAGNER: In tears after learning he'd need surgery.

WAGNER: In tears after learning he'd need surgery.

Wagner was claimed off waivers last week by the Red Sox, but wanted assurances Boston would not pick up his $8 million option for 2010 – so he could test the free agent market to be a closer elsewhere – or offer him salary arbitration. With arbitration, the signing team would be required to offer a compensation draft pick and Wagner thought that would hurt his chances in the market.

Wagner has 385 career saves and it is his goal to reach 400.

The Red Sox didn’t plan on picking up the option, but with reports Jonathan Papelbon might be available in a trade after this season, they wanted to hedge their bets. Papelbon has been vocal in saying he doesn’t believe the Red Sox needed Wagner, but he has idiot tendencies.

The Red Sox do need a set-up guy for the remainder of this season, and if they didn’t claim him, the Yankees most definitely would have.

While the Mets aren’t getting blue chippers, something is better than nothing for a player they had no interest in bringing back. Wagner, who has spent the last 11 months recovering from Tommy John surgery, has pitched two quality innings since his return with four strikeouts and a fastball topping out at 96 mph.

In explaining the trade, GM Omar Minaya said: “Billy, basically, had an opportunity to pitch in the pennant race and we were able to get two prospects for him, and we felt it was the right thing to do.”

Wagner performed for the Mets; he was a positive signing for Minaya. However, he was a squeaky wheel which didn’t always endear him to his teammates. Notably, he called out the veteran position players – of which Carlos Delgado was one – for not talking to the media.

They were offended, but Wagner was right. Wagner was also correct in his pointed criticism of Oliver Perez not concentrating and living up to his potential.

Personally, I always liked Wagner. He was stand-up whenever he blew a save and never failed to answer the tough questions.

38 thoughts on “Wagner deal complete ….

  1. I predict that Billy Wagner will make his presence known in Boston as he has always been very verbal and will also do well on the mound.

    Don’t know if the Boston fans will take to him, but if he helps them along towards the Post Season, they should.

    So, I’ll wish him good luck at Fenway -

  2. Was this deal made to improve the Mets (figuring minor leaguers have a better chance than draft picks) or was it done to save money?

  3. 3. Goodby Wagner. You were as bad in the clutch as any closer, as bad a sArmando Benitez. you were poison in 3 places and you have to work fastnow. You only have 30 some games to destroy the Red Sox. Give it your best shot and I hope that Tampa or Texas gets your wild card spot. And I hope you never catch Franco. He was something you could never be. He was a good guy.

  4. Dan (2): Both. They had to deal because they knew he wasn’t coming back. They could have gambled with the arbitration to get draft picks, but that’s a crap shoot. They save $3 million-plus for a player who was no longer in his plans.-JD

  5. My understanding is that the two prospects will be coming from their AA affiliate; if so, there are some nice bats there (Jimenez, Kalish, Still, Reddick) who could probably enjoy a brighter future in the Met organization.

    Regarding Sheffield, he does have a point: If the Mets aren’t going to trade him when another team puts in a waiver claim, then the suggestion is that he has some kind of future with them. Yet, their turning down of his contract overture indicated he wasn’t in their future plans. There is a certain “mind game” element to what the Mets are doing here. And if I’m Sheff, I’d much rather be helping the Giants make the post-season than playing out the string in Queens — yet, the Mets can’t really articulate why that scenario isn’t happening. Bad news all around. Omar misplayed that one.

  6. Tiffany (6): Absolutely. The way it played out, Sheffield had to logically assume he was in their plans. Minaya said he wasn’t offered enough value for Sheffield. … I don’t recall hearing where the Mets said positively Sheffield will not be back, so maybe there’s another chapter here.-JD

  7. One of the suspects we’re getting back is Chris Carter, who pretty much is the 27 year old version of Nick Evans. A butcher in the Of, and a bad 1bman who might hit a little. The other ptbnl apparently is a nobody. If this was the return, I would have kept him and offered him arbitration and gotten the picks. Meanwhile a good GM like Theo will end up with the picks and probably do well with them. Thank you again Omar.

  8. The Giants put in a claim for Sheffield to block him only. Whatever they offered to Minaya was worth bubkus. By not letting Sheff go, it wasn’t like they were losing a chance to get rid of a ton of money. So therefore, it wasn’t worth it since he has been productive to let him go. If Sheffield wanted to read into it, that he had a future here…so be it. Omar did nothing wrong on this one occasion.

  9. (1) Annie: The evil part of me hopes he blows out his arm his first appearance with the Sox. lol

  10. Steve TO(10) You’re mean – although I admit I wasn’t going to say anything until he was safely out of town and I could afford to be charitable and voice platitudes. He wasn’t the easiest person to like, but then, pitchers all have their own personae.

  11. (7) Really, John? That was the only logical assumption for Sheff?

    Short of consulting the psychics down the block from Keyspan Park, Omar cannot have any reasonable visibility into what this team will look like next year. Are we ready to just assume this was a bad dream and Reyes and Beltran will be 100% in April? Maine?

    It would be insane to commit any part of the Wagner/Delgado $25 million to a 41-year-old Sheff now — and alone in his room, even Sheff knows that.

  12. if the mets will not get anything that could reasonably help the team at any level in the majors down the road – middle relief guy, defensive player, etc – why trade him?

    yes you save a few million but you could have gotten better in free agency compensation.

  13. one more thing, when has omar done things altruistically? do you give up a good player for nothing? did the mets send money in the deal?

    is this just a cash dump?

  14. (5) Delcos: Benitez/Looper/Wagner. They all sucked. But, I never heard of two of them going to the press regularly to blast his teammates. I wonder which one did that!!!!
    9. Love Sheffield’s philosphy. He really should play with Wagner. A pair of deuces. But for Omar to say he wasn’t get value for the guy he is paying minimum salary to was a stupid statement.
    (13) If the owner said to Omar, do it and save me the $$, then Omar had no choice. We’ll never know.

  15. (9) If a losing team puts a veteran in the final year of his contract on waivers in August, the implication is that you’re giving up on the season and have no further interest in said veteran. I understand the Mets were not blown away by the Giants’ offer, but you can’t “unscrew” the situation by retaining Sheffield, unless you have plans for him the following season.

    Omar essentially communicated a.) the Mets have given up on the season and b.) the Mets have no future use for Sheffield. And, despite a.) and b.), Sheffield is supposed to come to work, play hard and risk injury for an organization that has given up on the season and given up on him, too?

    I think Sheff has been a model citizen this year and I would have loved to have him back as a fourth outfielder in 2010. But now I’m with Delcos: The professional thing to do is release him between now and August 31. Otherwise, you’re screwing a veteran player for the hell of it.

  16. 17 So so wrong…. Gyuts are put on the waiver list regularly. It is done for many reasons other than to give up. Stars are put on waivers and bums are put on waivers. Only an egotistical idiot like Gary, I was so stupid I didn’t know Barry Bonds was giving me roids, would come up with the bull he spewed out about it. And screwing a veteran for the hell of it. You mean the lazy SOB who had a 14 million $$ contract with the Tigers so he figured I don’t need to be in shape cause they owe me anyway??? That guy?? Get real.. Gary sheffield screwed this team up from day 1. Church and Murphy were screwed royally to get this out of shape overpaid jerk playing time he didn’t deserve to make Minaya look good with his hoist of Sheffield for nothing.

  17. i would rather the mets have eaten this years $$ and gotten more for our former reliever. as it is it seems that we got rid of him for players who probably will never help so they can pay for this years draft

    thanks mr maddoff!

  18. as for sheff i can see the mets keeping him. we owe him another 100k or whatever. he has power which we need.

    some people will go to the stadium and buy the food and drink and spend money. without him we have francour and not much else.

    it is easy to keep sheff regardless of what our plans are for him next year. he costs us nothing and we would have received nothing in return.

  19. (18) Yes, players get put on waivers all the time — but teams don’t negotiate deals unless they’ve given up on the player. Instead, they quietly pull them back. Omar, in this case, negotiated, which underscored that he was ready, for the right price, to give Sheff up.

    As for Church and Murphy, it looks like Mr. Out of Shape, Overpaid Jerk outperformed both of them.

    And I’d be worried about the message Omar is sending to other veterans he might want to sign in the future: As Bobby V. taught us, when you dick around veteran players, other veteran players take notice and act accordingly when free agents.

  20. This is bad. Wilpons wouldnt pick up any salary so they get crappy players back for one of the best closers in the game. Sorry, Chiti, but at least Wagner was honest with the press and spoke his mind. Its true that some of the hispanic or whatever the polically correct term is today were not forthcoming to the press. They came to a guy who sometimes was not even in the game to get a quote because the so called stars wouldnt open their mouths.

  21. 21. sheffield has 3 more HRs than Murphy. for a guy who swings for fences and nothing else, he totaqlly sucks and his roids have worn off. Sheffield has cost the pitchers run every day he plays becuase of his putrid fielding. Oh, he is so bad and slow he doesn’t get errors so it doesn’t show in the stats so ignore his horrid play. Church saved more runs with his d than Sheffield has brought home. If you really are worried about the message O mat is sending then you better be more worried about the pounding this pathetic excuse for a manager does running to the press bad mouthing his own players regularly. Think anyone wants to play for him? Maybe Sheffield, but thats it. If Omar keeps over the hill, me first and only players from coming here again then at least he learned one lesson and he will stop bringing in crap like Sheffield.

  22. 22. Sadecki: Untrue, You don’t live in PA so you probably don’t know how Wagner poisoned the locker in Philly running to the press bitching about Pat Burrell every day. who is not Hispanic at all. Wagner has been a dick everywhere, a non discriminatory dick since he has had problems in 3 locker rooms. In NY it just happened to be with the Latinos. Fact is Wagner killed the Astros in the clutch, killed the Phillies in the clutch and the Mets in the clutch… But it was always his mates fault. Benitez and Looper sucked but they never blamed others.

  23. SLG percentage:

    Church .375
    Murphy .387
    Sheffield .458

    And Ryan Church saved 43 runs with his defense this year? That’s astounding. I’d love to see a citation for that assertion.

    I don’t think Sheffield wants to play for Manuel. His recent closed-door discussions with the manager and corresponding comments to the press suggest that he’s second-guessing Manuel. And, considering how productive Sheffield has been, I don’t blame him for having issues with Manuel.

  24. 25. Here is the only mstat that counts. The NY Mets led by the great Gary Sheffield and all of his 10 hrs and misplayed balls.
    57 Ws 69 Ls .452.

    Here is sometbhing your stats totally ignore. Players who were constantly canstigated and had mind games thrust upon them because of the presence opf Gary Sheffield.
    1. Daniel Murphy
    2. Ryan Church
    As far as Sheffiled not wanting to play for Manuel. If you are correct, then Jerry did one thing right. Oh and find the stat on how many managers Gary the great in his minf Sheffield have second guessed. Don’t check…The answer is all of them.
    By the way when you used the great great career of 8 ABs of Mike Carp to compare him to Bonds, you proved to everyone just how useless the spewing of stats can be. Abusing stats all you want will not make the 2009 Gary Sheffield a good or even average ballplayer nor it will it make him the perfect clubhouse man you claim him to be.

  25. (25) Hmmm…I’ve read a handful of quotes from teammates about what a positive influence Sheff has been this season. Perhaps you could provide a citation or two to support the premise that he has “canstigated” others on the team.

    It’s absolutely hilarious that you are trying to attribute the Mets’ losing record to Sheffield. Why not Santana? K-Rod? Why not to Daniel Murphy and his .318 OBP?

    Re the number of managers he has second-guessed, I would appreciate a citation regarding Sheffield’ problematic relationship with Bobby Cox. Thanks in advance.

    Finally, there’s nothing useless about Mike Carp’s stats. I believe if you re-read my posting, you’ll find that I qualified it as a small sample — but, that said, it was still Bonds-like. What’s more, if you had a clue about how to apply them, you know would know that Carp’s minor-league numbers are a good predictor of future performance.

  26. Tiffany (27): A nice return serve. Sheffield had no problems with Cox that I am aware of. I also believe he got along with Leyland in Florida. Will have to check on that one.-JD

  27. (17) Tiffany: I fail to see the logic where Omar is “screwing” Sheffield. Omar picked him up after the Tigers dropped him and gave Sheffield a chance to get his career back on track, which he conceivably did given an AL team wants him to DH. Omar did what just about every other GM does by exposing just about everyone on their roster to waivers. Omar owes Sheffield nothing. He doesn’t owe him the chance to play for a contender. Regarding Carp, i’ll throw my two cents into the ring…his minor league stats are comparable to Mike Jacobs, and Jacobs had a ton of success when he was called up. Now is Jacobs a serviceable player? Yeah…but not someone you exactly lose sleep over. I know if he was down on the farm we’d talk him up like crazy, but minor league stats don’t project future performance. You can only hope they continue their success.

  28. (29) Omar gave Sheffield “a chance”? As I remember it, Sheffield was a free agent with several teams courting him.

    Yes, other players are exposed to waivers, but when a losing team puts a veteran player in the final year of his contract on waivers in August and he’s claimed by a contender and the losing team negotiates with the claiming team (rather than just pulling the player back), it sends the signal that the losing team is giving up on the season and is ready to jettison the veteran player in the final month of his contract. If they don’t deal him, then what’s the message — that they consider him too important to liquidate? Well, if he’s that important, then they’re sending the message that he’s got a role in the future. But when Sheffield inquired about next year, he was told he wasn’t in their plans. In other words, the Mets are going nowhere this year, they have no plans for Sheffield in the future, they will receive no compensation when he leaves in October — but they’re still blocking another team from acquiring him during a pennant race. It almost sounds like spite to me.

    As for Carp and Jacobs, their minor-league stats are anything _but_ comparable. Carp consistently controls the strike zone, as evidenced by an OBP that is about 100 points higher than his BA. Jacobs’ minor-league numbers suggest someone like a Butch Huskey; Carp’s suggest someone who is going to get on base consistently. The big question for Carp is whether he will hit with enough power to warrant playing at first base.

  29. (30) Tiffany: Did you even bother to look at Jacobs last two years in the minors? His OPS in 03 was .924, O4 he was injured, 05 was .965. His OPS with the Mets during his real cup of coffee was 1.085. Carp in 07 was .724 and 08 .874 and in a league known for its offensive stats, has an OPS of .831. And Jacobs OBP’s of .376 weren’t too shabby either. So you’re out of your head when you say they aren’t comparable.

    As far as Sheffield goes, who exactly was knocking down his door? Two other teams? Please. And I don’t believe that Omar is sending him a mixed message. Sheffield at this point in his career should understand the game. It’s all about money. Do you really think if Sheffield was making 2 or 3 million this year Omar wouldn’t have let him go? Of course he would have. But for a few hundred grand, what’s the difference. This sure as heck wasn’t a Randy Myers situation. As far as the Giants really wanting him, all reports say they didn’t, and they were just trying to block him from going somewhere else. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  30. 27. Pretty good how you always have these sources but where are they??? Fact: 2006 Tigers were AL Champs, Fact 2007 Tigers added Sheffield and didn’t make playoffs, fact 2008 Tigers kept Sheffield and sucked , fact 2009 Tigers dumped Sheffield and returned to first place, fact 2009 Mets added Sheffield and sucked. Fact Sheffield was so pathetic the Tigers said here’s 14 million bucks get the hell out of our clubhouse and stadium.

    As far as Sheffield and the waivers the only message that he should have received is that this team needs 25 bodies to finish the season, and like it or not you are one of them. Sheffield is being paid 14 million bucks. Nobody, including Omar Minaya owe him a damn thing more. Omar works for the Mets not Sheffield.

  31. (31) The important thing about Jacobs’ OPS those two years at AA were the splits between his BA and OBP, which weren’t all that big — about 50 points each year. In other words, he had Francouer-like walk rates. Which is fine if you’re hitting .320, but not so much when you’re at .275.

    Anyone whose OBP is 100 points or more higher than his BA is displaying a skill (strike zone judgment) that will likely not recede with age. On the flip side, very few players develop strike zone judgment with age — they either have it or they don’t. That’s what makes Francouer’s future seem limited, despite him being only 25.

    In regard to Sheffield, you have a losing team blocking a 40-year-old with no future in the organization and only $100k left on his contract from joining a contending team for a pennant race. As for whether the Giants really wanted him or were just preventing some other team from getting him, they claimed him — and Sheffield, by all reports, wanted to go there. Bad form by the Mets.

  32. (32) Geez, Harry, by the same logic, once you started posting on this blog, it started to suck. Ergo…

  33. 33. What you say is totally false. Many players develop “patience” at the plate, experience gives them better judgement and their walk numbers increase. But, hey its fun reading how stats can be twisted into supporting any position on any subject.
    But I do want to know why a guy who is emplyed by the NY Mets is obligated to satisfy the needs of a player whose sole desire is to make a few more bucks on another team.

  34. (35) OK, Harry, give me a listing of players who developed patience at the major-league level. Twist some stats for me, baby.