Well that was fast. Just a day after the Red Sox offered arbitration to an aging Billy Wagner, the Braves have decided to swoop in and snag the veteran reliever for a tidy $7 million in 2010 and an option in 2011 that will vest if Wags finishes 50 games next season. He'll need to pass a physical first but for someone who grew up on a farm, he's used to poking and prodding. The Red Sox were smart to think that Wagner was a hot commodity on the open market; they'll receive a first round draft pick from Atlanta and the satisfaction that Billy will be causing heartache elsewhere next year.
For that kind of scratch, Wags will start spring training as the closer for Atlanta but with word that the Braves are pursuing Tigers closer Fernando Rodney, it could be a real battle of the blown saves in Hotlanta next year.
Odd, this makes the third NL East team that Wagner will be a member of since he left the Astros in 2003, and yet he never quite made it to the Nationals, a team that is geographically closest to his fambly farm outside of Charlottesville, VA.