Based on an extremely small sample size (one inning of work), Billy Wagner looked awesome.
Since the pitcher is already on waivers, the rumors about what teams are interested are squeaking out. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com notes that the Tampa Bay Rays and the Florida Marlins are two teams that scouts believe have expressed interest in Wagner.
The one hitch is the money left on Wagner’s contract.
There is $2.5 million left on the deal, with another $1 million buyout of his option for 2010. Stark writes, “other clubs believe that the Mets will have to eat a major chuck of that money if they expect to land a decent prospect in return for Wagner.”
As a fan, I love Wagner. I love his attitude on and off the mound. But at this time, it’s time for the Mets to deal him. Even though Francisco Rodriguez has shown signs of cracking and having a back-up closer (much like the plan was for J.J. Putz this year) wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
(Don’t forget, Putz has an option for 2010 as well, but it’s a little hefty to be paying that much for a set-up man.)
If the Mets can take most of Wagner’s contract on and dea l him away, they may be able to get a good, young player from a desperate team trying to make it in 2009.
I say the Mets pull the trigger on a deal if the right one comes along.