In an appearance today on ESPN’s SportsCenter, MLB Analyst, Buster Olney, discussed the potential trade between the Mets and the Red Sox involving reliever Billy Wagner.
In his appearance Olney stated that the chances of a deal happening are below 50 percent.
There are numerous factors that would support Olney’s claim. One of these factors is that there are some concerns regarding the health of Wagner’s surgically repaired shoulder.
Prior to yesterday afternoon’s game, Wagner told reporters that he was going to pitch at some point in that game. However, despite warming up in the bullpen he never did enter the game. This prompted some concerns over whether Wagner is struggling to get warm prior to entering the game.
Mets manager, Jerry Manuel, stated today that the reason Wagner didn’t pitch was because he was holding him out of the game until the Mets went ahead (which they never did).
Wagner appeared healthy in today’s game where he pitched a scoreless inning, while recording two strike outs.
The other two factors that could be a potential deal breaker are terms that Wagner’s agent revealed this morning. These terms would have to be met in order for Billy to waive his full no-trade clause. The first of these terms is that The Red Sox would have to agree that Wagner’s 2010 option would not be picked up following these season, due to his desire to find a closing job.
The other is that the Red Sox would not be allowed to offer him arbitration because Wagner wouldn’t want the loss off two high draft picks due to his Type-A free agent status to scare away teams interested in signing him.
My guess is that the Mets will not be able to come to a deal with Boston and that Wagner will remain with the team for the remainder of the year. The team will then offer him arbitration in the off-season, which it’d be pretty safe to say he would decline. This would then result in the Mets getting two top draft picks in next year’s draft, as long as Wagner signs with another team.
In other words, this is a rare instance where it is a win-win scenario for the Mets.