Wagner Out For A Year; Mets Now Need A Closer For ’09

3:22pm: In a press conference clip aired on WFAN, Omar Minaya says it will indeed be Tommy John surgery.

3:05pm: The report originally said Wagner would have surgery on the tendon in his elbow. The report has now been changed to say the surgery will be on a ligament and will not require Tommy John surgery as originally reported.

Dan Graziano is reporting that Billy Wagner will need surgery on his elbow and will likely miss the entire ’09 season.

A Mets team official confirmed that Mets closer Billy Wagner will have elbow surgery this week and will miss the remainder of his season and possibly the entire 2009 season as well…Wagner is scheduled to make $10.5 million in 2009, the final year of his four-year, $43 million contract with the Mets.

The Mets do have an $8MM option on Wagner for ’10, with a $1M buyout. However, with the surgery, the Mets are unlikely to pick up the option.

Of a more immediate concern is the closer position for the Mets in ’09. It would seem likely that the Mets would now be one of the front-runners to land Francisco Rodriguez or Brian Fuentes, both of whom are eligible for free agency following the season. It was reported that the Mets were interested in Fuentes prior to the trade deadline.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com and can be reached here.

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