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.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: