By Jon Heyman, SI.com
The Mets have traded Billy Wagner to the Red Sox, SI.com has learned.
The Mets receive two players to be named later, according to an SNY report. Boston agreed to cover the $2 million-plus left on Wagner's contract.
Wagner had initially intended not to waive his no-trade clause, according to people close to him, but the Mets made a last-ditch effort and convinced the fireballing lefty to accept the trade before Tuesday's 1:30 p.m. deadline.
The deal came together when the Mets agreed to let Wagner's representative hash it out with Red Sox people. Wagner has indicated that he wants to close games next season, so he asked the Red Sox to make a few compromises. The 38-year-old wanted the Red Sox to guarantee they wouldn't exercise his $8 million option for 2010 and also would not offer him arbitration. (When ranked free-agent players decline arbitration, the signing team must surrender draft choices, which can diminish that player's value.) The Red Sox agreed to not exercise the 2010 option, but they retained the right to offer him arbitration.
Still not a year removed from Tommy John surgery, Wagner has expressed concern about his health to confidants, and particularly his ability to pitch on back-to-back days in an interview with SI.com on Sunday. Though the Red Sox are known for treating pitchers gently, Wagner seemed to feel it would be easier for the Mets to be delicate since they are not in the race. But his view on that subject apparently changed.
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon made public comments suggesting he didn't believe the team needed to add the accomplished Wagner, who responded by acting surprised and slightly put off by Papelbon's remarks. "I don't have anything to say about somebody like that," Wagner said. "When he walks in my shoes, then I'll say something. Let him be 38 and have Tommy John surgery and come back."