Hard to believe that the former Mets closer was just honored at Billy Wagner Bobble head day at Shea Stadium less than 16 months ago. Loge13 was there to record the pageantry of that special Shea memory:
OK maybe we got there a bit early. At least we showed up. Wagner wasn't even there that day as he had just been injured and wouldn't pitch again for over a year. Now Billy's the Braves closer. If we've learned anything from history, we expect Wagner to contribute somehow to breaking Met fans hearts at a later date in 2010.
More from the Boston Globe on the deal:
Not long after the Red Sox offered arbitration to Billy Wagner,
the reliever they picked up in August from the Mets, they found
themselves in exactly the situation they desired. While they would have
worked around it had Wagner accepted arbitration, the two draft picks
netted by the departure of the pitcher represent an even better outcome
for the team.
Wagner signed a one-year deal with the Braves yesterday for $7
million, with a $6.5 million vesting option for a second year. Wagner
will get a chance to close in Atlanta, something he would not have had
in Boston. The lefthander is just 15 saves shy of 400 and would clearly
like to surpass the mark.
The Sox were not shocked by the signing - they expected Wagner to
leave, according to a team source - but were a little surprised by the
timing. Word broke less than 12 hours after the Sox had announced their
decision to offer him arbitration. The signing might have had more to
do with the Braves' own relievers, after Atlanta offered arbitration to
both Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano.
Wagner threw 13 2/3 innings in 15 games with the Sox, with a 1.98
ERA and 22 strikeouts. The Sox used him gingerly in the wake of his
return from Tommy John surgery.
Wagner's signing has reverberations beyond the Sox' bullpen. By
losing a Type A free agent, the Red Sox will receive two draft picks as
compensation, one of which will likely be the Braves' 20th pick in the
first round. That could cushion the blow should the Sox sign a Type A
of their own, such as Marco Scutaro. The shortstop was offered arbitration by the Blue Jays.