Now, this is different from the Red Sox "getting Gagne." Very different. There are reports that the Red Sox and Rangers have come to an agreement to trade Eric Gagne. Gagne has a limited no-trade clause, which includes the Red Sox as a team he cannot be traded to without his permission.
Gagne has 177 career saves. He has 7 career blown saves. That's 96.2%. This season he's got 16 saves in 17 attempts, with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.050 WHIP. He's had some injury problems the past few years, but he's also been one of the best relievers thus far in the 21st century.
But he has that limited no-trade clause. And the question will be asked "What will his role be with the Red Sox?" Does he become the closer? Does he become a platoon closer with Papelbon? Does he become a set-up pitcher? most likely, he will become the primary right handed set-up option in front of Papelbon. He also becomes the #2 closer on the team, in case Papelbon has worked the previous 2 nights or something.
He also has an incentive clause in his contract for Games Finished. He probably won't be finishing very many games, so the Red Sox might rework that clause and guarantee the money he would have gotten paid had he reached the incentive.
With Mike Timlin's health a big question mark, Manny Delcarmen having a mere 82.1 Major League innings under his belt, and Brendan Donnelley just starting to throw a ball again, we needed some help in the pen.
If this trade goes through, the end of our bullpen looks really strong. We have Papelbon in the 9th. Gagne and Okajima for the 8th and 7th. Delcarmen for the 6th (if necessary), and so on.
But what did we give up? Kason Gabbard, David Murphy (AAA Pawtucket), and a GCL prospect. Giving up Murphy isn't a big loss considering we have Moss and Ellsbury still down in Pawtucket. Gabbard is the big part of the deal for the Sox. Kason was 4-0 in 7 starts with a 3.73 ERA. He pitched well, but it seemed to me as though he was pitching above his head. He may end up being a very good starting pitcher in the Majors, but Gagne is a proven reliever.
I like this deal. I like it a lot. It reminds me of the Dave Roberts acquisition in 2004. We got Roberts to be a 4th outfielder and come off the bench to run, even though he was a starting outfielder and wanted to be a starting outfielder. Gagne will be asked to set-up, even though he is really a closer.