hangoverGordon 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]



  1. Gus says:

    If the price was right, I would have liked Wagner. Even if the Rays make it to the post-season, I still will be very nervous with the bullpen they have. Not enough strike-out pitchers. Wagner might have been fun, but not at that price.

    Not to get ahead of ourselves, but if this is a real Kazmir resurgance and he keeps this up for the next month, do you think the Rays go to Price in the bullpen for the post-season? If so, I kind of like the sound of that.

    The starting pitching has been as good as it has been all season right now.

  2. Beth says:

    Let's talk in three days about the starting pitching. The starters have generally been decent at home but fallen apart on the road. If they can maintain their recent high quality on this road trip, that would be significant.

    As for Wagner -- I agree, unless he'd pitched more innings since surgery, why take a chance for that kind of money? I think the Rays have spent enough this year on older, recently injured relief pitchers (what are they paying now for Percival and Isringhausen?)

  3. Copley says:

    If you were to bring Wagner to Tampa Bay, it would certainly make the bullpen better. He hit 96 mph for the NEw York last week. You take Wagner and stick him on the back end and then you put JP back to being a rover. This gets rid of the need to bring in the shaky Shouse and sometimes not so reliable Choate. Wagner is better than Springer, left handed and throws harder.

    Get rid of Springer, Choate, and Shouse. Get Wagner, bring up Wade Davis and you got yourself a Grade A pitching staff in September.


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