Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports was surprised the Rays (and others) passed on Billy Wagner when the Mets exposed him to waivers (the Red Sox claimed him).
Whiffing on Wagner? It surprised no one that the Mets placed Billy Wagner(notes) on waivers, and made sense that the Red Sox, with just one lefty in the bullpen, would have interest in claiming him. More puzzling is that the contenders in more obvious need of relief help – the Phillies, Cubs, Rays and Angels – would have passed.
Money – Wagner is owed about $2.65 million for the rest of the season and has a $1 million buyout next year – could have been a factor.
Gee, ya think? $3.65 million for one month of a relief pitcher that has one appearance since Tommy John surgery? For a pitcher that likely still can’t pitch back-to-back games? JP Howell has been great all year and he has only been worth $5.8 million or about $1.2 million per month. The Rays may have given Wagner $3.65 million for an entire season, but they certainly won’t do that for just one month and what might have ammounted to about 10-12 appearances.
Martinez reduces Varitek’s workload [Yahoo! Sports]