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Report: Braves sign Wagner to take over closer's role

Dec 2, 2009, 1:37 AM EDT

wagner red sox.jpgA source told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that the Braves and Billy Wagner have come to terms on a one-year, $7 million contract with a vesting option for 2011.
The Braves were expected to be in on Wagner, but it’s a curiously timed move, given that the team just offered arbitration to both Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez on Tuesday. If either accepts the offer, the Braves would find themselves in position of two relievers due in excess of $6 million in 2010.
The odds are against that happening, though, and if the Soriano and Gonzalez depart, the Braves will could gain two additional first-round picks, plus two supplemental first-rounders, to make up for the one they’re giving the Red Sox to sign Wagner.
The Red Sox are also surely pleased with this turn of events. They weren’t poised to make a strong effort to retain Wagner, and now they’re set to land the 19th pick in the draft, assuming that the Braves fail to sign a higher ranked free agent. Matt Holliday, Jose Valverde, Jason Bay, John Lackey and Marco Scutaro are the only ones who will take precedence for the pick, and it’s highly unlikely Atlanta will land any of them. The Red Sox could now go ahead and ink Scutaro, safe in the knowledge that they’d still have at least one first-rounder.
In Wagner, the Braves get perhaps the best one-year closer option on the market. $7 million is certainly a fair price to pay, and the $6.5 million vesting option only kicks in if he finishes 50 games next year. Wagner will need to be both effective and healthy to pull that off, and if he does, the Braves would most likely want him back at that price anyway.

  1. TheoRocks - Dec 2, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    Wow, this is great news for the Red Sox!
    All we did was take advantage of a bumbling and stumbling Mets team that just wanted to save money on the remaining salary Wagner was due in 2009.
    We gave up nothing more than a essentially worthless player at AAA, Chris Carter, sent to the Mets. That now turns into possibly the #20 pick in the draft (other sites are widely reporting it as #20, not #19.)
    Great work by Theo taking advantage of another opportunity to boost the player development system. It’s so nice when you have a farm system and don’t just get by with signing free agents to globs of money. That would be you, Cashman.

  2. MarkinLA - Dec 2, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    I agree, really good turn of events for Red Sox.
    Thank you, Braves. This actually works out for both teams.
    GO RED SOX !!

  3. MarkAgain - Dec 2, 2009 at 8:11 AM

    GO RED SOX !!!!

  4. craig - Dec 2, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    That would be the Cashman who’s getting fitted for a World Series ring, right?

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Dec 2, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    Great work by Theo taking advantage of another opportunity to boost the player development system. It’s so nice when you have a farm system and don’t just get by with signing free agents to globs of money. That would be you, Cashman.

    Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?

  6. kevin stewart - Dec 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    GO SOCKS!!!!!!!

  7. Joey B - Dec 2, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    “Wow, this is great news for the Red Sox!
    All we did was take advantage of a bumbling and stumbling Mets team that just wanted to save money on the remaining salary Wagner was due in 2009.
    We gave up nothing more than a essentially worthless player at AAA, Chris Carter, sent to the Mets. That now turns into possibly the #20 pick in the draft (other sites are widely reporting it as #20, not #19.)”
    I’m still having trouble understanding the whole transaction. I understand the idea of dumping players in a losing season, and Wagner cost the RS close to $3M all-in, but the value of of even a #20, and the comp pick, has to be way higher than that. And it’s not like the NYM are a small market team.
    Hopefully the Braves don’t sign any other higher ranking FAs.

  8. Dude - Dec 2, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Is that the same Cashman that was so unpopular not long ago?

  9. Mark G - Dec 2, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    Are the Red Sox still in MLB??

  10. Mark G - Dec 2, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    Hey-Dead Sox fans—-did you see what YOUR ownwer John Henry said today??? Please try to be informed when you post things on this chain.

  11. Talex - Dec 2, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    Great work by Theo taking advantage of another opportunity to boost the player development system. It’s so nice when you have a farm system and don’t just get by with signing free agents to globs of money. That would be you, Cashman.
    You mean like Theo right? – Yes, like Josh Beckett, Manny Ramierez, J.D. Drew, Julie Lugo, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Daisuke Matsuzaka (the 100 million dollar man!), Jason Bay, Victor Martinez, Takashi Saito, Hideki Okajima, Curt Schilling, Julian Tavarez, Mike Timlin, Javy Lopez, David Aardsma, Bronson Arroyo, Alan Embree, Keith Foulke, Byung-Hyun Kim, Custis Leskanic, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, Mike Myers, Scott Williamson, Doug Mirabelli, Mark Bellhorn, Orlando Cabrera, Doug Mientkiewicz, Johnny Damon, Gabe Kapler, Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts, Ellis Burks, Chad Bradford, Matt Clement, John Halama, Matt Mantei, Wade Miller, David Wells, Bill Mueller, John Olerud, Edgar Renteria, etc., etc.

  12. Deese Knuts - Dec 2, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    Great news for the Red Sox- and maybe Theo can get the boys back on the juicing cycle and Ortiz can start hitting HRs again instead of just fly balls!!!

  13. Aaron - Dec 2, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    That list of free agents – many of which (Manny, Pedro, etc.) Theo did not sign – that would be Dan Duquette; hardly compares to A-Rod, Sabathia, Clemens, Matsui, AJ Burnett, Teixeira, Carl Pavano, Abreu… shall I go on?? Face it, you hand any GM in baseball the money that Cashman has access to and tell them every year, ‘just go out and sign the biggest name free agent’ – they’ll be sizing rings as well. There’s no science to that!! Why you think the guy’s named Cash Man??? The spending binch may have won the yankees this one title, but it will never win them a dynasty, let alone multiple championships – like the teams of the late 90’s that had Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Petit as graduates of the farm system. If you don’t build your farm system like Theo has and is building the Boston’s you won’t win multiple championships like the Sox have. Instead, you’ll build a one and done – like the Cash Man just did! :)

  14. John K. - Dec 2, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    Being both a Braves and White Sox fan I feel I can be a little bit more non-bias in this discussion. First off, yes the Yankees prove year in and year out that baseball needs a salery cap. Then again so do the Red Sox. Both teams are in the top 3 in baseball payroll so you BoSox fans sitting there critizing Cashman really need to stop while you are behind. Did the Yankees buy their title this year? Absolutely. But they mixed and matched good scouting and strong free-agent signings in the late 90’s to produce a dynasty. From 1996-2003 the Yankees were in the World Series 5 out of those 7 seasons. Since then while their spending has actually gone up the only other World Series appearence from 2004 on was this year. Now you Yankee fans bashing Ortiz and saying that he is juicing, if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black I don’t know what is. Seriously, A-Rod, Clemens, Pettite? Come on now, don’t be the New York hypotcrite that the rest of the country thinks you are. Most teams who win a World Series rely on some combination of skill, luck, and signings of guys who have career years. Jeter had one of his best years ever. Rarely does the best team in baseball win the World Series; a perfect example is the ’06 Cardinals. So instead of trying to see who has the bigger D!(k on the east coast, why don’t you start looking at other teams who are going to blow past both of you with better rotations and young guns on the field. Both my teams along with Texas, The Rays, The Phillies all look better than either of your teams; especially their pitching.

  15. Meat Loaf Lewis - Dec 2, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Aaron needs to do a little reading before he embarrasses himself with his comments. Build a farm system like Theo has? So why haven’t you been able to come up with a full-time shortstop the last five years? Why are the Sox talking about moving Pedroia to ss and then find a second baseman on the free agent market? Why are you going after pitching on the free agent market if you are so well-stocked?
    Look at the Yanks farm system – besides the Fearsome Foursome (Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, Posada) – you have Cano, Cabrerra, Chamberlain, Hughes, Cervelli, Aceves, Albaladejo, Coke, Gardner, Kennedy, Melancon, Pena, Robertson, Wang and others. Fourteen players on the Yanks post season roster came from the farm system – unlike Lowell, Ortiz, Varitek, Martinez, etc.
    And check out the statements coming from the Sox since their season finished: they plan on spending money, and lots of it, to go after Halladay, Lackey, Gonzalez, Hernandez, etc. They took a page out of the Yankees play book a long time ago – that’s how they FINALLY made it to a World Series. Remember, they have the THIRD highest payroll in baseball, and are probably getting ready to move up tp Number 2. And the Yankees have won ONE TITLE? Try again, Aristotle.
    I don’t know whether some Red Sox fans get so sanctimonious that they turn stupid, or they just start out stupid and stay that way.

  16. pepepopo - Dec 2, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    I’m going to go with the latter and say they start out and stay stupid.

  17. pipin - Dec 2, 2009 at 5:07 PM

    “The Phillies all look better than either of your teams; especially their pitching. ”
    Are you serious? You mean the same pitching that showed up in the World Series, except for Lee?

  18. John K. - Dec 2, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    Hamels, Happ, Blanton, Kendrick, and Kyle Drabek waiting down in triple A? Happ just won the ROY award. Hamels will more than likely pitch somewhere better than this year but worse than two years ago when they won the world series. So yes, they look better positioned and deeper than the Yankees for sure or the ageing Red Sox.

  19. JudyJ - Dec 2, 2009 at 6:57 PM

    Multiple championships??? Are you kidding??? That would be 2004 and 2006 and how many before then? I think it takes 19 world championships on your part to catch the current Yankees – is that right? Multiple championships????? LOL YANKEES – WORLD CHAMPIONS!

  20. ghost of C Fisk - Dec 2, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    Yankee fans are always so mouthy the year they buy the championship. It’s sad that they don’t see reality. The Red Sox may always spend near the top of the league (actually 4th this year) but the Yankees always spend the most. Always. So there is no skill in running a team with a blank checkbook. There is no farm system in recent years. There is only a collection of over-payed prima- donnas who get their golden parachute contract from the yankees and some times get a ring if enough of them can muster the effort to live up to their talent. The yankees are what’s wrong with baseball, so don’t blame other teams for trying to beat you at your own corrupt game. I’d hate to have grown up in Milwaukee or Kansas City. I never would have watched baseball.

  21. James - Dec 3, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    You might want to get your facts right, Happ didn’t win the ROY award this year, that honor went to Chris Coghlan of the Marlins. If Happ was so good, why didn’t he get the ball during the World Series over ageing Pedro Martinez. The Phillies rotation is ok at best behind Cliff Lee and there is no guarantee your boy Drabek will be worth much. His dad was an average pithcer at best.

  22. Judy J - Dec 3, 2009 at 9:27 AM

    Sounds like you are a little “green” – unhappy with your team? Gee, it sucks to be you

  23. Judy J - Dec 3, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    Sounds like you are a little “green” – unhappy with your team? Gee, it sucks to be you

  24. jonny5 - Dec 3, 2009 at 9:53 AM

    “there is no guarantee your boy Drabek will be worth much. His dad was an average pithcer at best.”
    Ok…… that means what? Was Pedro’s daddy even a pitcher in the MLB? Randy Johnsons? Glavines dad, Lincecum, Lee, Sabitha??? I’m not sure any top MLB pitchers had dads who could even pitch in the major leauges… So what difference does their father make???
    The reason Happ wasn’t used in the WS I feel was the fact he was in his rookie season. I’m sure Manuel felt Pedro had the nerves plus he pitched very well in the play offs. Myself i’d have put happ up against the Spankees since his era was so good and there isn’t a lot known about his pitching. I feel Charlie may have made a mistake there. But who knows maybe he had the Flu like many other Phills did for the WS. Even Pedro was coughing up phlegm on the mound…. Not trying to make excuses for the loss of the WS just saying it’s possible…… Happ did relieve and didn’t look like his best stuff was there.

  25. Josh - Dec 3, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    ok really? The aging Red Sox rotation? Like the ancient Josh Beckett who will turn 30 next year? Like the ancient Jon Lester who will turn 25 next year? Wakefield is the only person on the roster that is old, and the others can hardly be described as aging yet. Beckett and Lester are both aces. Wakefield can still probably turn in a productive season if his back doesn’t break completely. Buchholz is emerging and is a fine 3 starter. And Matsuzaka is… eh This is hardly a weak rotation. Oh and meat loaf lewis, you’ve hardly given a list of people who look to be future stars. Aceves hasn’t been that good. Neither has Coke. Kennedy hasn’t proven he can play in the bigs yet.
    The Red Sox have Buchholz, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Youkilis, Papelbon, Lester, Delcarmen, and Bard from their farm system that have proven they can play well on the major league level. There’s also Tazawa that has looked promising waiting in the wings. I could also list over 9000 products, but I’ll confine this to ones who have shown already they can either consistently play well at the ML level or ones that have alot of promise.

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