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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’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. ghost of C Fisk - Dec 3, 2009 at 10:59 AM

    the othere pathetic yankee fan response is to say Red Sox fans are jealous. That ship has sailed, pal. While waiting 86 years it sucked, but now it don’t suck anymore. You have nothing for us to be “green” about except Jeter ( who I can respect) and yet I’m equally “green” about Roy Halliday and Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez. So your just another team.

  2. James - Dec 3, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Jonny5, I wasn’t talking about all those other players and whether their fathers were pitchers, but in the case of Kyle Drabek, his dad was a pitcher. His Triple-A numbers aren’t anything to brag about. 9-7 with 62 strikeouts in 143.0 innings pitched. The era is decent, but please with those numbers, you better ship him to Toronto and get Halladay. But wait, they didn’t even ask for him during the past trade talks, so it doesn’t seem like Philly has all the much pitching depth. And for Happ argument, his era was good against N.L. team with the pitcher hitting. Put him in the A.L. and his era goes up a full run if not more. Don’t give me that excuse that the Phillies didn’t use him because he was a rookie. I believe Andruw Jones was a green and younger rookie playing against the Yankees back during the 96 World Series. He promptly became the youngest player to hit multiple homers in a world series game. Jeter was in his first full season when he helped them win the title. John Lackey was a rookie when he helped the Angels win the title. If Happ was half as good as you say, he would’ve been on the mound. By the way, gotta love the excuse you gave about a lot of the Phillies having flu-like symptoms and that contributed to them losing. They lost because they didn’t have the pitching nor could your left handed batters hit left handed pitching. Take Chase Utley out of the picture and your beloved Phillies would have been staring down a possible sweep. And don’t get me started on your bullpen and mental breakdowns the Phillies had out on the field, I.E. the infamous Damon double steal. In the end Jimmy Rollins was wrong with his prediction and basically, so are you in your analysis of the world series.

  3. Meat Loaf Lewis - Dec 3, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    So you’re “green about Roy Halladay and Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez” . . ? In other words, NOW you’re all for going out and buying or trading for big dollar players. It’s only wrong if the Yankees and other teams do it. And Josh, you’d better go back and check on Aceves’ stats before you make such idiotic statements.
    I suppose coming in a distant second has made Sox fans very bitter and talking out of both sides of their mouths.

  4. Joebob - Dec 3, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    you can’t be serious with your comments
    that is some positive you make out of last season’s failure…great job theo, you got US a draft pick…you’re so brilliant.
    by the way: millar, lowell, papi, manny, drew, damon, bay, varitek, pedro, schilling, renteria, cabrera, beckett…and many more did not come out of your system…and YOU (yes YOU…since you are with them apparently) have one of the highest payrolls in baseball.
    so you are right there with cashman, except in your case it is getting you nowhere.
    When do you plan on raising the “winner of the AL wildcard spot” banner next year?

  5. Joebob - Dec 3, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    multiple championships?
    2 championships in 80 something years…and not consecutive hardly makes a dynasty…
    you just keep telling yourself how great things are…great job theo! you got a draft pick for 3million dollars (and some key blown saves/holds courtesy of wagner)…don’t blow the pick on the next craig hansen.

  6. Joebob - Dec 3, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    wah wah wah…
    why do you bother coming in here to whine?
    and the “we only have the 4th highest payroll” and only 80% of our roster was acquired argument is pretty lame.
    sucks to be you…

  7. Joey B - Dec 3, 2009 at 6:57 PM

    “so you are right there with cashman, except in your case it is getting you nowhere.”
    You can certainly argue that we have a big payroll, but to say we are right there with Cashman is borderline insane. The difference between the Yankee payroll and the RS payroll is about the same as the difference between the RS payroll and the FL payroll.
    So, if you want to claim that we are right there with Cashman, it implies that you think the Marlins are right there with the Red Sox.
    Isn’t logic taught anymore in school?

  8. KOZ - Dec 4, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    Yo meat…do your homework…
    Red Sox gave up the best shortstop in the national league to get Lowell and Beckett, that turned into 2 world series wins.
    I will give you, that there has been a less than a poor front office performance in making up for the SS thing since then, but the results have been able to be overcome, and the record shows it.
    The BOSOX need Haliday or Hernandez and in my view must get Gonzales and resign Bay or get Holiday. They need to dump Papi and find a reasonable DH replacement, as I believe he is all done. Scutaro, may be another stop gap at SS, but it will be the other moves that might bring the Sox back to the world series.

  9. KOZ - Dec 4, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Yo Meat,
    Can’t speak for every BOSOX fan, but I have been harping on why there has not been big $$$ spent by the Red Sox for 20 years. I have (and I know you weren’t talking to me) faulted the Yankees for buying the best ballclub possible. This year your dividends were paid, but that’s a lot of money gone into that drought. The Sox need to cough up big cash for Haliday or Hernandez, Gonzales, Bay or Holiday and some reasonable replacement for Papi as he is, in my view, all done. So I am saying, I would love to see the Sox spend like the Yankees have been but show a better result in the next ten years than the Yankees got from the last ten years.
    But Theo ain’t takin’ my calls =-D

  10. KOZ - Dec 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    I meant to write “I have never faulted the yankees for buyin the best team they could” Sorry for that.

  11. Joey B - Dec 4, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    “Can’t speak for every BOSOX fan, but I have been harping on why there has not been big $$$ spent by the Red Sox for 20 years.”
    No one will know how much they clear, but they’ve been consistently #2 in payroll over the past 5 years or so, and there is no chance that they’ll ever spend enough to top the NYY.

  12. pepepopo - Dec 4, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    “just another team”? Get real. Every Bostonian is obsessed with anything Yankees. Pretty much any story I read in the Boston newspapers has something to say about the Yankees.

  13. JudyJ - Dec 5, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    Oh, you forgot Teixera – the one that got away. Yankee fans don’t think SAWKS fans are jealous, they know they are. SAWKS fans are very loyal and dedicated to their team – and that is a good thing to a point. But delusional mutterings about not trying to catch the Yankee star is bunk and you know it. Believe it or not, winning two championships in the last ten years suddenly makes Boston the team to beat? Guess again – your senior management committed two serious blunders – letting the A-Rod deal go sour and the Teixera deal go south – right to New York. When you man up and admit the huge disparagement between these two teams, we can have a conversation. But until then you just keep telling yourself it doesn’t matter. Your guys took roids as well as a few of ours. Your guys sat home this year and ours didn’t. That gives us the right to shoot our mouths off – just like you guys did.

  14. KOZ - Dec 5, 2009 at 6:43 PM

    They don’t need to spend more than the Yankees, but they do need to spend more. I think with the right expenditures they ca captures 2 of the next five WSs. But I think the Yankees might get the other three (barring injuries).

  15. IrishYanks - Dec 10, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    The Red Sox use home-grown players to win championships? In 2004, the Sux had one player on the team who came up through the system and stayed with the team. A mercenary championship bought and paid for if there ever was one.

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