Last Friday, it was reported that Billy Wagner was claimed on waivers by the Boston Red Sox, the news was not welcomed by Sox closer, Jonathon Papelbon who thinks he has been promoted to General Manager. Papelbon’s crude rumblings aside, the Mets and Sox had until Tuesday afternoon to complete a trade.
According to a report by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports,
Billy Wagner is staying with the Mets. He will invoke his no-trade clause rather than accept a deal to the Red Sox, according to a major-league source.
Wagner, through his agent, Bean Stringfellow, communicated to the Red Sox that he only would accept a trade if the team met two conditions. The Sox agreed to one of those conditions, the source said, promising that they would decline Wagner’s $8 million club option for 2010, the source said.
However, the Sox were less willing to guarantee that they would decline to offer Wagner salary arbitration, making him a free agent without draft-pick compensation.
I’m a little disappointed in Wagner, and I can only wonder what prospects the Red Sox were willing to give us in return for him. Now we’ll never know.
Wagner is now saying that he based his decision on health and not the arbitration. A source told Rosenthal,
“It’s not about the option or arbitration. It’s about his desire to end the year healthy for the future. He feels he has a better chance lasting a month in a less competitive environment than perhaps two months in a pennant race and playoffs.”
What a crock…
Last week Wagner said he wanted to be traded because it may be his best chance to play in a possible World Series. Really?
You can bet your butts that the Mets will offer Wagner arbitration after the season and ensure that they receive two high draft picks. Wagner currently projects as a Type A free agent.
Naturally, Wagner will reject the offer as he is unwilling to be a setup man and wants to close.
Billy Wagner has no right to put demands on the Mets like he did with the Red Sox.
At the time he signed his contract, Wagner had no complaints about the $8 million dollar option (his so-called security blanket), so if he wants to play hardball with the Mets, then the Mets should return the favor.
With the Mets farm system as depleted as it is, the Mets will need those two high draft picks.
Of course, the Mets could also opt to pick up his option and then trade Wagner for a major league ready player or players to fill a need on their 25 man roster.
Billy Wagner may have won this battle, but in the end the Mets will win the war.