Wagner changes mind, agrees to join Red Sox

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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.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.

Video: Blue Jays walk off against the Athletics again, this time with a grand slam

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The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.

Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.