Drama Brewing Over Wagner Claim

9:15pm: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, "the Red Sox's chances of landing Mets reliever Billy Wagner are in serious jeopardy." 

There are two main problems: Wagner wants to have the option of leaving after the 2009 season, and the Sox are not willing to guarantee that his 2010 club option will go unexercised.  Boston management also wants to have the choice of offering the veteran salary arbitration, an idea to which Wagner's agent is adamantly opposed.  The two sides have about 40 hours to come to an agreement.

6:14pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman is keeping tabs, via Twitter, on a war of words that has sprung up between Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon and recently-claimed reliever Billy Wagner.  As Heyman "tweeted" a few hours ago, "wagner said he 'loves boston.' also said he doesn't expect to go. why? "inside intuition.''

Papelbon seemed to take exception to the comments and said Sunday afternoon that he doesn't feel the Red Sox necessarily need to add the 38-year-old veteran.  Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal passes along the quote:  "We have a good dynamic down there in the bullpen and guys who work well together," Papelbon said. "Is Billy Wagner a good pitcher? Will he bring more depth to our bullpen and make our bullpen better? There's no question about it. But you still have to think about what we have now and what we've been able to accomplish to this point in the season."

And here's Heyman, back on Twitter, with Wagner's response: "i dont have anything to say about somebody like that … when he walks in my shoes then i'll say something. let him be 38 and have tommy john surgery."

We'll keep you updated as the situation progresses.  Keep in mind that the Red Sox and Mets have until 1 p.m. EST Tuesday to work out a deal.


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