I would think it unlikely, but Scott Boras is telling teams Eric Gagne might go ahead and accept the Red Sox’ offer of arbitration — thus assuring the complete and absolute failure of that trade. Thus far, we have:
- Instead of shoring up the bullpen, becomes the weak link? Check.
- Instead of locking away the division race, makes it closer? Check.
- Largely ineffecitve in his only truly important playoff appearance? Check.
- Performs so badly, he costs the team a first-round draft pick Check.
If he accepted arbitration, that would saddle the Sox with his contract and remove the possibility of getting a draft pick back. Somehow, despite all that, I’m still kind of hoping he does it. I can’t for the life of me figure out why. The Red Sox would be on the hook, then, for $4.8 million — 20 percent less than last year’s $6 million tag. For $1 million, they can cut him with no further obligations.
Maybe it’s just me, In fact, I’m sure it is. Maybe I just want the trade — which was considered an excellent move at the time — to somehow work out the way it was supposed to. Maybe I still can’t break the years of thinking, "Man, I wish Eric Gagne was wearing a Boston uniform."
Maybe it’s the .427 second-half BABIP, which was 127 points higher than his career average. Or the fact that his FIP as a member of the Red Sox was well below his actual ERA. Or maybe it’s the simple belief that a pitcher that good can’t just become that bad. I don’t know. Heck, for all I know the deadline passed at noon, and this is irrelevant.
So sue me, I like the guy, and I think it’d work out all right if he came back for one more year.