Return of the Gagne?

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.

25 comments… add one
  • I wouldn’t mind having Gagne.

    Lar December 7, 2007, 4:45 pm
  • yeah, if he doesn’t perform, he’s the mop up guy all year. An expensive one to be sure. I liken him to Giambi. If you get something regularly, and not in short impressive stints, it’s okay, but you shouldn’t expect a whole lot.
    That being said, I think if Tito just lets him face the first two guys of an inning, he’ll be fine. It seemed to me that he ALWAYS got the first two out with ease, then imploded on the third guy! ha.

    Brad December 7, 2007, 4:55 pm
  • If he comes back, starts fresh and pitches well, then all will be forgiven. But I feel like I’ve given him about 1231293809 chances already to be forgiven, and he’s spat in my face every time.

    Atheose December 7, 2007, 4:56 pm
  • spat, and the laughed while you wiped it off.

    Brad December 7, 2007, 5:16 pm
  • I know. I was glad when Tito finally accepted it was a bad idea to put Gagne in when it counted. Did he kill every single close game (and was it a 3 or 4-run lead against Baltimore that one time?) that he came into or was it just, like, 75% of them?
    I mean, WOW, he sucked something awful. I supported him until the Lester/Blue Jays game (walked in tying run, gave up go-ahead double with bases loaded thereafter, I think), and then I wanted him drawn and quartered.
    Well, I guess they could start by seeing if he could hold a 4-run lead? Two baserunners and he’s done.

    Devine December 7, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • He wants another shot at closing, and that won’t happen in Boston. Strongest rumors still have him returning to Texas…

    The Omnipotent Q December 7, 2007, 5:34 pm
  • “It seemed to me that he ALWAYS got the first two out with ease, then imploded on the third guy! ha.”
    It was eerie how often he did this. So, he should be the first FTOGY (First-Two-Out-Guy) in the MLB? I think he could get a job in St. Louis, if that’s the case.

    FenSheaParkway December 7, 2007, 6:16 pm
  • “Maybe it’s just me, In fact, I’m sure it is.”
    Not at all Paul. I’d love to see him rejoin the Sox too.

    IronHorse (yf) December 7, 2007, 6:43 pm
  • I guess I wouldn’t mind seeing him come back, if only because I know he’s going to be pitching in low leverage situations at first, and also he can’t possibly suck as bad as he did last year. I’d be less enraged to have him pitch poorly for us than I would be if he went somewhere else and reverted to his previously awesome form… I don’t even know if that makes sense, I just know that if he goes to, say, the Mets, and posts a <2.00 ERA and a >10 K/9, I will kill someone.

    Jackie (SF) December 7, 2007, 8:18 pm
  • The Gagne returning to the Red Sox?
    Yes! (makes Derek Jeter trademark fist pump, dances a little happy dance)

    yf2k December 7, 2007, 11:27 pm
  • Paul i agree with you although i have the opposite response. The sox retaining Gagne will hep their pen in the long run he is too good of pitcher to not work it out. Even if he doesnt what’s the worse case scenario the red sox spend some cash on a guy? Its a risk they can afford. Id actually love it if the yankees took a shot on him.

    sam-YF December 7, 2007, 11:31 pm
  • I should clarify that the $4.8 million is the minimum, and something tells me Gagne would probably get more than that in arbitration. He’d certainly ask for more in pre-arb negotiations.

    Paul SF December 7, 2007, 11:55 pm
  • Sam, that’s a purposeful jynx if I’ve ever seen one.
    I feel like I took Gagne out on a date, and he tied my up and raped me. And then laughed about it when I took him to court, and got off scott-free. Indeed, not only was he scott-free, but he got a ring too!

    Atheose December 8, 2007, 12:10 am
  • Awww…Edes says Gagne declined arbitration. Damnit, he ruined it for us!

    yankeemonkey December 8, 2007, 1:02 am
  • Ha, and as he implies, it might have been tough putting up with a whole season of boos. Take the ring, consider it a delayed reward for putting up the two best seasons ever by a closer, and get the hell out of Dodge. Not a bad strategy.
    It’s really too bad he couldn’t have had a redemptive defining moment like Drew did with the grand slam. The slam was my favorite memory of Postseason 2007, and Gagne had that chance in the ALCS, too, and couldn’t hold it down. Ah well…

    Paul SF December 8, 2007, 1:14 am
  • I wouldn’t have had last season any other way, Gagne and all.
    I will simply assume that the the Sox won the World Series in the context of the team as it was constructed and I cannot assume they would have won it had the team been constructed differently. We cannot know that.
    So thank you, Eric Gagne!

    SF December 8, 2007, 7:29 am
  • Gagne declined arbitration. Christmas come early!

    Atheose December 8, 2007, 10:46 am
  • By the way, Jacoby Ellsbury is signing autographs today in Boston for $150, if you provide the item to be autographed.
    Meanwhile, Ken Griffey Jr showed up at Redfest in Cincinatti unannounced and signed autographs for an hour, free of charge.
    Jacoby, you’ve played in the major leagues for two months and you’re charging $150? I’m sure you’re not the one that chooses the prices, but come on kid.

    Atheose December 8, 2007, 11:40 am
  • Far be it for me to defend money grubbing athletes, but I’m pretty sure the price is set by the people who are running the show, and Jacoby gets some set amount of money for his time (definitely not $150 per autograph).
    I mean, he’s only making league minimum for the next couple years… let’s not begrudge him appearance fees. ;)

    Jackie (SF) December 8, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • 2:00 bar time PST:
    first time i’ve posted in a while, but i am happy to announce….gagne to the brewers. hello class B draft pick.

    sf rod December 9, 2007, 4:53 am
  • Sandwich picks are very nice. The Yanks should get one too when Vizcaino signs with another team. He was this close to being a Type A.

    AndrewYF December 9, 2007, 11:31 am
  • Yankees 2005 sandwich pick: Joba Chamberlain.
    Sandwich picks: I like.
    (Also, Red Sox 2005 sandwich pick: Clay Buchholz.)

    doug YF December 9, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • Joba was a 2006 sandwich pick, actually. But yeah.
    Huston Street was a sandwich pick back in 2004, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Adam Jones were picks in 2003, and David Wright was a sandwich pick in 2001. Did you know, Bronson Sardinha, who was just DFA’d by the Yankees, was picked ahead of David Wright in the 2001 1st sandwich round. Yankees also drafted Jon Poterson, failed catcher prospect, ahead of Huston Street in 2003. But just imagine how much the Astros regretted picking Phil Nevin over Derek Jeter in 1992. I think an Astros scout who was tracking Jeter quit because of that.

    AndrewYF December 9, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • Andrew,
    The scout who quit over his pro-Jeter advice being ignored was Hal Newhouser. Buster Olney wrote at some length about it and Jeter in his book “Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty” – the exceprted chapter regarding Jeter, including Newhouser can be found at

    IronHorse (yf) December 9, 2007, 4:46 pm
  • Yeah, that’s the book I was reading.

    AndrewYF December 9, 2007, 6:58 pm

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