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Wagner Signs with LOS BRAVOS DE ATL


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Billy Wagner officially joins the Braves bullpen, Billy has 385 career saves and counting, link coming soon, any thoughts?

 

 

 

Mlb.COM

 

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ATLANTA -- The Braves have reached a preliminary agreement that positions Billy Wagner to serve as their new closer.

 

Multiple Major League sources have confirmed that Wagner has agreed to a one-year contract that includes a vesting option for the 2011 season. Pending the results of a physical, the Braves could announce the free-agent signing during a Wednesday afternoon press conference at Turner Field.

 

The team has not confirmed nor denied an agreement with the veteran left-hander.

 

According to FoxSports.com, Wagner would make $7 million in 2010, and if he finishes 50 games, a $6.5 million option would vest for the 2011 season.

 

With Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano expected to exit via free agency this offseason, the Braves made Wagner their primary target to fill the closer's role that the aforementioned relievers shared this past season.

 

Wagner comes to Atlanta with the intent to enhance his already impressive credentials. The 38-year-old reliever's 385 career saves rank sixth on Major League Baseball's all-time list. He stands 39 saves shy of matching the record that John Franco set for left-handed closers.

 

Interest in Wagner grew when he made a successful return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery during the final two months of last season. In 17 combined appearances with the Mets and Red Sox, he posted a 1.72 ERA, limited opponents to a 1.72 ERA and recorded 26 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings.

 

One American League scout who watched Wagner pitch during the regular season's final weekend said he was convinced the veteran hurler was ready to once again be the top-flight closer that he had previously proven to be with the Astros, Phillies and Mets.

 

During a 12-season span beginning in 1997 -- the year he began serving as the Astros' full-time closer -- Wagner posted a 2.40 ERA and converted 376 of his 434 save opportunities. Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman were the only Major Leaguers to record more saves during this span.

 

Wagner established himself as one of the game's top closers in 1999, when he posted a career-best 1.57 ERA and converted 39 of 42 save opportunities for Houston.

 

After blowing nine of his 15 save opportunities one year later, he proceeded to post a 2.22 ERA and convert 251 of the 277 opportunities he was presented with over the course of the next seven seasons.

 

Because Wagner is a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration, the Red Sox will gain the first-round selection that the Braves had been slotted to make in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

 

But with Gonzalez and Soriano also standing as Type A free agents, the Braves are in position to gain the first-round picks currently slotted to the clubs that could end up signing these relievers, who were both offered arbitration on Tuesday.

 

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Now that I see it, we are in for one bit of a challenge here. If Saito and Wagner are healthy for the Braves with their starting pitching that can almost spell a chance at the division for them, and the Phillies furthering their depth, we better make some improvement or beinfest and Co. won't be able to use that excuse, oh we have a winning product every year...

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Now that I see it, we are in for one bit of a challenge here. If Saito and Wagner are healthy for the Braves with their starting pitching that can almost spell a chance at the division for them, and the Phillies furthering their depth, we better make some improvement or beinfest and Co. won't be able to use that excuse, oh we have a winning product every year...

 

 

 

The Braves haven't gotten better.

They had this last year except it was a better version, with Gonzalez and Soriano. And they might trade Javier Vazquez so their starting pitching won't be any better, either. It was pretty damn good last year. They need offense. I'll be worried when they get that.

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I'd take Billy over Snake, and would not be surprised in the least if Saito was better than Red Turtle. Certainly can't ignore the age difference factors though. But the Braves peripherals were better than ours last season. They'll also have Nate McLouth and Ryan Church for a full season next year, and anything is an upgrade over Garrett Anderson.

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Billy Wagner officially joins the Braves bullpen, Billy has 385 career saves and counting, link coming soon, any thoughts?

 

 

 

Mlb.COM

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

Article

 

ATLANTA -- The Braves have reached a preliminary agreement that positions Billy Wagner to serve as their new closer.

 

Multiple Major League sources have confirmed that Wagner has agreed to a one-year contract that includes a vesting option for the 2011 season. Pending the results of a physical, the Braves could announce the free-agent signing during a Wednesday afternoon press conference at Turner Field.

 

The team has not confirmed nor denied an agreement with the veteran left-hander.

 

According to FoxSports.com, Wagner would make $7 million in 2010, and if he finishes 50 games, a $6.5 million option would vest for the 2011 season.

 

With Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano expected to exit via free agency this offseason, the Braves made Wagner their primary target to fill the closer's role that the aforementioned relievers shared this past season.

 

Wagner comes to Atlanta with the intent to enhance his already impressive credentials. The 38-year-old reliever's 385 career saves rank sixth on Major League Baseball's all-time list. He stands 39 saves shy of matching the record that John Franco set for left-handed closers.

 

Interest in Wagner grew when he made a successful return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery during the final two months of last season. In 17 combined appearances with the Mets and Red Sox, he posted a 1.72 ERA, limited opponents to a 1.72 ERA and recorded 26 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings.

 

One American League scout who watched Wagner pitch during the regular season's final weekend said he was convinced the veteran hurler was ready to once again be the top-flight closer that he had previously proven to be with the Astros, Phillies and Mets.

 

During a 12-season span beginning in 1997 -- the year he began serving as the Astros' full-time closer -- Wagner posted a 2.40 ERA and converted 376 of his 434 save opportunities. Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman were the only Major Leaguers to record more saves during this span.

 

Wagner established himself as one of the game's top closers in 1999, when he posted a career-best 1.57 ERA and converted 39 of 42 save opportunities for Houston.

 

After blowing nine of his 15 save opportunities one year later, he proceeded to post a 2.22 ERA and convert 251 of the 277 opportunities he was presented with over the course of the next seven seasons.

 

Because Wagner is a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration, the Red Sox will gain the first-round selection that the Braves had been slotted to make in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

 

But with Gonzalez and Soriano also standing as Type A free agents, the Braves are in position to gain the first-round picks currently slotted to the clubs that could end up signing these relievers, who were both offered arbitration on Tuesday.

 

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

 

 

Wagner's a coin toss. good or bad??? Who knows? Saito's 38 coming off a season with a whip of 1.35. Neither guy is a lock to perform.

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I'd take Billy over Snake, and would not be surprised in the least if Saito was better than Red Turtle. Certainly can't ignore the age difference factors though. But the Braves peripherals were better than ours last season. They'll also have Nate McLouth and Ryan Church for a full season next year, and anything is an upgrade over Garrett Anderson.

 

While Wagner is one of my favorite closers ever (former Astro) and I like Saito too, you hit on what my issue is. Wagner isn't Billy the Kid anymore, plus he's coming off two arm injuries (both shoulder and elbow) and barely pitched at the end of last season. And Saito will turn 40 at the start of next year, though he did look really good in the 2nd half last season.

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