It looks like Billy Wagner will be a Met for the rest of the season. According to published reports, the erstwhile Mets closer invoked his no-trade clause, blocking any deal to the Boston Red Sox and nullifying the waiver claim.
The Mets only choice is to pull him back, keeping Wagner for the rest of the season.
First reported by FoxSports.com, Wagner’s agent Bean Stringfellow informed the Red Sox of his client’s decision this morning. The lefty reliever said he would waive his no-trade for the right team. Apparently the Red Sox weren’t it.
If he went to Boston, Wagner would have setup closer Jonathan Papelbon, a situation which the 38 year-old didn’t want to do long term. So he put demands on the Sox, including not to pick up his $8 million option and not offering him arbitration, meaning there would be no compensation to the Sox when the lefty walked as a free agent.
So now he will stay in New York for the rest of the year, meaning the Mets would be responsible for the roughly $2.7 million left on his contract. The team will most likely decline the $ 8 million option, giving Wagner a $1 million buyout, but it will probably offer the reliever arbitration, netting two draft pick when he signs elsewhere next year.
The other option of just assigning Wagner’s contract to the Red Sox was out of the question, because that is also covered in the no-trade.
Keeping Wagner will mean the Mets will potentially have three closers for the rest of the season. Francisco Rodriguez is entrenched as the closer and is going nowhere, while J.J. Putz is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment in Brooklyn tonight and could rejoin the Mets within a week.