Billy Wagner To Invoke No-Trade Clause

10:49pm: Wagner will invoke his no-trade clause to stay with the Mets, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Rosenthal says the Red Sox were willing to concede to Wagner's demand not to exercise his $8MM 2010 option, but wouldn't agree not to offer him arbitration.  As Rosenthal says, Wagner could be stuck with an arb offer from the Mets anyway.

Our latest Elias rankings projection has Wagner as a Type A among NL relievers with 78.8 points.  Therefore, if Wagner's club is willing to risk him agreeing to a one-year deal for 2010, they'd have a shot at two draft picks by offering arbitration.  (If you need a refresher on free agent compensation, click here).  Wagner tossed a scoreless inning against the Phillies tonight, by the way.

9:24pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets the following: "The general belief is, Mets and Red Sox both want to do a deal. Thus, a possible Wagner trade will be up to, yes, Wagner." 

5:54pm: In a piece on ESPN.com this evening, Wagner would not commit to pitching after next season, saying "it's not going to be much longer," though no specific plans have been made.

Wagner cited concerns about how his career has affected his family, saying, "they've sacrificed enough." 

According to ESPN, Wagner says he would like to reach 400 career saves and then pass John Franco, who holds the record for lefty closers with 424. Wagner currently has 385 career saves, which puts him sixth on the all-time list.

5:25pm: Ian M. Browne of MLB.com has some quotes from Wagner, who told the media, "My gut tells me I'm going to Florida [for the Mets-Marlins series] now. Unless something changes, I'll probably be a Met tomorrow."

In regard to his role in the bullpen should he land with the Red Sox, Wagner said, "I'm too old to set up. I don't want to go there and feel like I need to impress someone. That may not be good for them or for me."

1:07pm: The Red Sox have to guarantee they'll turn down Wagner's 2010 option for him to accept a trade to Boston, according to Mike Fitzpatrick of the AP (via the Miami Herald). Wagner wants to close next year and Jonathan Papelbon has a secure grasp of Boston's closing job.

1:02pm: Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox can't ask for a physical on Wagner. By placing him on waivers, the Mets are effectively guaranteeing Wagner's health. If it turns out that a player isn't healthy after he's moved, MLB can reassign him to his original team.

11:12am: This afternoon's Mets-Phillies game could determine whether the Red Sox acquire Billy Wagner. The Red Sox, who have until tomorrow to acquire the veteran lefty, seek clarification of Wagner's physical status, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. Sources tell Olney that they're unsure Wagner is completely healthy.

If he has lingering health issues, the Mets will have to withdraw Wagner from waivers, which would prevent a move to Boston. Olney and Jon Heyman of SI.com both hear that Wagner's healthy, but a strong outing today could prove it. If he is healthy, the Mets could trade Wagner to the Red Sox (as long as he OKs the deal) or just hand the pitcher and his contract over.



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