As a colleague put it, Billy Wags “burned the Betsy Ross, Walt Whitman and Ben Franklin bridges on the way out of town,” but if he can help the bullpen in any way, fans may be willing to forgive and forget. [Link]
Wagner is scheduled to make his final rehab appearance for Single-A St. Lucie tonight and could join the Mets Sunday against the Giants. Daily News columnist Paul Hagen reports it would cost about $2.75 million to assume the rests of his contract, set to expire at the end of this season assuming, as everyone does, the Mets will entertain the $1 million buyout. Hagen believes Wagner could provide insurance for lost closer Brad Lidge and injured cleaner J.C. Romero, slowed by a forearm strain. Wagner, who turned 38 last month, last pitched Aug. 2 of 2008 before the Mets shut him down to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Wagner, who had run-ins with teammates during his time in Philadelphia and was called “a rat” by former Phil Pat Burrell, jumped ship in the 2005-06 offseason when the Phils refused to offer him a fourth guaranteed year. A pitcher with a rocky stretch-run and postseason resume, he may be best remembered in Philadelphia for surrendering a back-breaking three-run home run to Craig Biggio late in 2005.
LV, Reading swap catchers: Kevin Nelson will go from Lehigh Valley to Reading, while James “Tuffy” Gosewisch goes from Reading to the IronPigs, according to an IronPigs tweet.