Wagner changes mind, agrees to join Red Sox
Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post reports that Billy Wagner changed his mind “after heavy lobbying by the Mets” and has agreed to accept a trade to the Red Sox. As part of the deal the Mets will receive two players to be named later and the Red Sox have agreed to decline the $8 million option on Wagner for 2010 while retaining their right to offer him arbitration. By offering him arbitration Boston would be in line for draft pick compensation should Wagner leave as a free agent. Wagner has made just two appearances since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery and likely won’t be available to work back-to-back games, but has definitely looked capable of making an impact down the stretch and perhaps into October. Assuming that the PTBNLs aren’t significant prospects the Red Sox basically spent a few million bucks to add a potential shutdown left-hander for what will probably be at most a dozen innings. Few teams can afford that luxury, but Boston is obviously one of them. For the Mets, parting with Wagner is a no-brainer and getting a pair of even marginal prospects in return is just a bonus. Neither side had much interest in Wagner remaining in New York next season and there was no sense in paying millions to watch him pitch for a sub-.500 team down the stretch. There was a strong argument to be made for general manager Omar Minaya simply letting the Red Sox have Wagner when they claimed him off waivers, so he absolutely deserves credit for coaxing some added value out of the situation.