Tag:Billy Wagner
Posted on: October 10, 2010 1:31 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2010 5:08 pm

Saito to replace Wagner on Braves roster

ATLANTA -- The Braves will take injured closer Billy Wagner off their playoff roster and replace him with Takashi Saito before today's Game 3 against the Giants, in a move that could well end the 38-year-old closer's career.

Manager Bobby Cox announced the switch in his pregame press conference, saying that Wagner's oblique injury was too serious for him to return anytime soon. By making the roster move mid-series, the Braves can't bring Wagner back if they advance to the National League Championship Series.

Technically, Wagner would be eligible to return to the Braves roster should Atlanta qualify for the World Series, but it seems a longshot that he would even be ready for that. Wagner continues to say that he will retire at the end of the season.

Wagner came to Turner Field today hoping to prove he could pitch, and doctors gave him an injection this morning. Wagner said the doctors first asked him whether he was definitely retiring, because by attempting to throw he risked a muscle tear that could jeopardize his ability to pitch next season.

The assurance was given, and so was the injection. But it didn't help.

"I was hoping for a miracle," Wagner said.

Wagner was hurt while pitching the 10th inning of Game 2 on Friday night in San Francisco. He said today that it felt "like somebody shot me in the side."

Saito pitched very well for the Braves this year, but he was left off the initial playoff roster because of a shoulder injury that cost him most of the final two weeks of the season. He continued to throw, and the Braves determined that he was healthy enough to pitch.

The Braves waited until today to make the change, hoping that Wagner would recover enough to give them hope that he could return, even for the NLCS.

Posted on: May 17, 2010 11:50 am
Edited on: May 17, 2010 11:52 am

Grand slams and Rivera: Some perspective

Yes, it was shocking to see Mariano Rivera serve up a grand slam. We all raced to the history books.

We were all amazed that he had only given up one previous grand slam in his career as a full-time relief pitcher.

And we shouldn't have been.

Outstanding closers -- even those on a level just below the Great Rivera -- don't give up grand slams. Joe Nathan has never allowed one, in 533 appearances. Jonathan Papelbon has allowed one, in 284 relief appearances.

Trevor Hoffman, who has pitched in 998 games (Rivera has 920 relief appearances), didn't allow his first slam until this year (Ryan Doumit of the Pirates, on April 27). Dennis Eckersley allowed one in 710 relief appearances. Troy Percival, Rollie Fingers and John Franco allowed two apiece, as have Billy Wagner and Francisco Cordero (all research done through baseball-reference.com ).

Rivera is great, the best ever at his job. But it's not the lack of grand slams that proves it.

Posted on: August 25, 2009 2:04 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2009 2:14 pm

Red Sox get Wagner for 2 PTBNs

Billy Wagner has been traded from the Mets to the Red Sox, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

The Mets will receive two players to be named later in the deal, which became possible when the Red Sox were awarded a waiver claim on Wagner last Friday.

Wagner had threatened to use his no-trade clause to block the deal, mainly because the Red Sox wouldn't guarantee not to offer him arbitration when he becomes a free agent this winter. But the Mets convinced Wagner that he would be better off spending the next six weeks in a pennant race with Boston, rather than with the free-falling Mets.

Wagner, who was the Mets closer until he needed Tommy John surgery late last season, will become the second left-hander in the Red Sox bullpen, joining Hideki Okajima.

The two players coming to the Mets aren't expected to be great prospects, but the Mets will benefit by saving the remaining money on Wagner's contract, about $3 million.

Wagner's contract includes an $8 million option for 2010, but the Red Sox will buy him out for $1 million, allowing Wagner to become a free agent and seek a job elsewhere as a closer. Wagner has 385 career saves, sixth on the all-time list and third behind Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera among active pitchers.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 21, 2009 5:54 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2009 6:45 pm

Red Sox claim Wagner claimed on trade waivers

Billy Wagner, the former Mets closer who just returned from Tommy John surgery, was claimed on trade waivers by the Red Sox, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

The Mets and Red Sox have until Tuesday afternoon to work out a trade for Wagner. If no deal can be worked out, the Mets could simply allow the claim to go through, with Boston assuming Wagner's contract, or they could pull Wagner back off waivers, in which case he couldn't be traded for the rest of the season. Since Wagner can be a free agent at the end of the season, and since the Mets are out of contention, there would seem to be little reason for them to keep Wagner.

Wagner will make almost $2 million for the rest of this season, and his contract includes a $1 million buyout of a 2010 option.

Wagner pitched a 1-2-3 inning Thursday night against the Braves, with two strikeouts. He regularly hit 95 mph on the radar gun, in his first big-league appearance since Aug. 2, 2008.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 20, 2009 2:55 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2009 2:58 pm

Playing the waiver game

It's not always significant when a player goes on trade waivers.

It means nothing, for example, that the Tigers put 20-year-old Rick Porcello through the waiver process this week, and it means nothing that the Mets did the same with Johan Santana. Neither pitcher is getting traded, and if either one is claimed, the team will simply pull him back and nothing will happen.

But with 11 days to go before the deadline for setting postseason rosters, a few of the names on the wire this week could be of interest.

Among them:

-- Mets reliever Billy Wagner. It's highly unlikely that Wagner would get claimed, since he's coming off Tommy John surgery and has a contract that guarantees him almost $2 million for the rest of this year, plus another $1 million to buy out his 2010 option. But the Mets expect to activate Wagner from the disabled list Friday, and if he proves he's healthy, he could be a reasonable addition to a contender's bullpen. By the way, the Mets also put Luis Castillo, Elmer Dessens and Nelson Figueroa through the waiver process this week.

-- White Sox starter Freddy Garcia. Garcia gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings Tuesday, in his first big-league start of the year. Not good. But could he be an option for a National League team?

-- Royals starter Gil Meche. He has a huge contract ($12 million each of the next two years), and the Royals haven't been anxious to deal him. But he's beaten the Twins and White Sox this month (both with five-inning starts).

In other waiver news, Reds starters Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo have both cleared waivers, as has Orioles pitcher Mark Hendrickson. But Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and closer Heath Bell were both blocked.

A waiver primer: When a player clears waivers (meaning no team puts in a claim), he can be traded to any team. When a player is claimed, the team that put the player on waivers has two days to either let the claim go through, pull the player back (in which case he can't be traded this season) or work out a trade with the claiming team. If there are multiple claims, the claim is awarded to the team that is lower in the standings.
Posted on: September 8, 2008 7:35 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2008 7:35 pm

Stunning news on Wagner, but Mets can survive

I'll admit, I thought the Mets were done if Billy Wagner didn't return. I thought it, I wrote it, and I heard several scouts that I trust say the same thing.

Now we find out that Wagner isn't returning, not this year and not next year, either. And I'm here to tell you the Mets can still win. No, I'm here to tell you the Mets should still win.

(By win, I mean win the division, not win in October. I'm not that nuts).

Here's why:

1. They're winning without him already. Wagner hasn't pitched in a game since Aug. 2. The Mets were 58-52 then, and they were in third place (and they lost the last time he appeared). Since then, the Mets have gone 22-11 and have moved into first place. Not only that, but the Mets bullpen had a 4.21 ERA when Wagner went down. They have a 3.31 ERA since.

2. Carlos Delgado. You can argue about whether Delgado deserves to win the National League's most valuable player award for what amounts to a half-season of excellence. What's certain is that Delgado is playing like an MVP right now. As teammate Damion Easley said, the Mets can jump on Delgado's back and ride him to the playoffs.

3. Johan Santana. Manager Jerry Manuel exaggerated when he said that the Mets are "able to send a good starting pitcher to the mound every day." But the Mets are able to send a great starting pitcher to the mound every fifth day. And some of those days, Santana will pitch so well and for so long that he won't even need a closer.

4. If not quality, then quantity. The Mets are carrying 18 pitchers on their September roster, and on some nights Manuel seems determined to use every one of them. The point is, Manuel can match up as much as he wants. He could even do it in the ninth inning, although for now Luis Ayala is doing a respectable job as Wagner's fill-in.

5. The Nationals, and the Braves. The Mets host Washington and Atlanta this week. They go to Washington and Atlanta next week. Yes, the Nationals are better than they were, but they're also 32 games under .500. As for the fading Braves, they just finished losing five of seven to the Nationals. Enough said.

6. First place. True, it didn't help the Mets to have the lead last September. But you'd still rather be in first, and it's amazing how big a two-game lead can seem as the games count down. Cool Standings had the Mets as a 73 percent chance to win the division as of Monday, and Baseball Prospectus had it even higher, at 77 percent.

So there you have it. Wagner's a big loss, and the Mets now have a big new item on their offseason shopping list.

But they still can win the NL East this year. They still should win it.

Posted on: September 7, 2008 2:12 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2008 7:12 pm

Mets: More bad news on Wagner

It's turning into an awful weekend for the Mets.

Besides losing the first two games in their first-place showdown with the Phillies, it now seems likely that they've lost closer Billy Wagner for the season. Wagner had to cut short a simulated game between games of today's day-night doubleheader, after feeling more discomfort in his troublesome left elbow.

The Mets had hoped that Wagner would be able to return to the active roster this week. They even considered activating him in time to pitch him in today's doubleheader, then changed plans and scheduled the simulated game as a final test.

"I feel like I'm as good as I'm going to get," Wagner said this morning. "The more I throw, the more rust comes off."

Wagner has been on the DL since Aug. 5 with a strained left forearm.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 23, 2008 4:02 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2008 7:26 pm

Phillies focus on Grabow, Sherrill

The Phillies, who had been among the more aggressive teams pursuing Colorado closer Brian Fuentes, have shifted their attention to Pittsburgh left-hander John Grabow and Baltimore lefty George Sherrill, according to sources.

Phillies special assistant Charley Kerfeld has been in Houston watching the Pirates, and the Phillies had three different scouts in to watch the Orioles during their current homestand. While the Phillies have also shown interest in Pittsburgh outfielder Xavier Nady, a deal for Grabow is considered a much stronger possibility.

As for Fuentes, there's still some question about whether the Rockies will trade him. Even if they do, the Phillies now consider him too expensive in terms of the players they would have to give up.

The Orioles seem increasingly likely to trade Sherrill. The Baltimore Sun reported that both St. Louis and Milwaukee have shown interest, but the Angels might have a better chance to get him by offering shortstop Erick Aybar. As one scout who has followed the Orioles said: "Baltimore is dying for a shortstop, and Aybar could be a regular for them."

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has told people that his phone has been ringing off the hook since Sherrill pitched so well in the All-Star Game last week.


One scout who has watched Seattle regularly this season said that while he doesn't really like left-hander Jarrod Washburn, he still thinks Washburn would be a decent fit with the Yankees.

"That's who he needs to pitch with, because he needs runs," the scout said. "He's another Bill Bavasi mistake. If the Mariners can get rid of Washburn, they should. If they get rid of him, that would help whoever gets that (Seattle GM) job next year."


The Mets know they have little chance of winning without closer Billy Wagner, and they also know there's no way they have enough chips to trade for someone who could successfully replace Wagner if he can't pitch. That's why they still list a corner outfielder, preferably one who bats right-handed, as their primary need, with relief help and even another starting pitcher behind that.

The Mets have talked about Nady and also Jason Bay, but it's doubtful they have enough to get either one from the Pirates. It might be more realistic to think that they could get Casey Blake from Cleveland, or Austin Kearns from Washington. Seattle's Raul Ibanez has also been discussed, even though he bats left-handed.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com