A day after the surgically-repaired Billy Wagner showcased some legitimate mid-90s heat, he was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Boston now has until Tuesday at 1pm ET to work out a deal for the 38-year-old southpaw.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that if the Mets want a prospect in return for Wagner, they will likely have to pick up at least some of the $3.5 million on his contract.
This number includes a $1 million buyout for next season. But Rosenthal
cites a source with knowledge of the club’s thinking that the Mets
would be reluctant to include money in a possible deal. Either way,
both sides should be pretty motivated to get a deal done by the Monday
But this is where it gets at least somewhat juicy. According to a “tweet” by Joel Sherman of the New York Post,
an AL executive speculated that the Red Sox may have claimed Wagner
over worries that Jonathan Papelbon’s mechanics and control are off.
Sherman made sure to note this was pure speculation on the executive’s
part, but concerns about Papelbon have some real merit, as the Boston
stopper has a career-worst 1.31 WHIP (remember, it was 0.77 in 2007)
and 3.98 BB/9 (previous high was 2.31 in 2007). He’s also relying on
his fastball less than ever before, and getting mixed results. Whether this is an organizational concern or not, Wagner is an insurance policy the Red Sox can easily absorb.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP
UPDATE, 5:08 PM EDT: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will not rule out a World Series appearance for Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs advance. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Schwarber could play through a simulated game on Sunday, during which the Cubs’ medical and baseball staff would evaluate his chances for a late season return. If he does play, it will likely be in a pinch-hitting or DH role and not on the field.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.