Buster Onley is reporting that the Yanks have claimed the player that the Red Sox were supposed to be trading to the Mets in exchange for Billy Wagner. Here’s the details:
When the New York Mets and Red Sox worked out a trade for left-handed reliever Billy Wagner earlier this week, Chris Carter, an outfielder-first baseman currently playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, became part of the deal as a player to be named headed to Boston, sources said. In preparation for the deal, the Red Sox placed Carter on waivers, with the intention of moving him on to the Mets.
But the Yankees, sources said, placed a claim on Carter — perhaps to create some 40-man roster discomfort for the Red Sox. In order to complete the Wagner trade, the Red Sox are now pulling Carter back from waivers, and for the rest of the year they must carry him on their 40-man roster.
This tells me what the Yanks think about Theo’s claim on Billy Wagner. They view it as a block move, so they’ve put in a block of their own just to make Theo’s job a little bit harder. I share this view, the Red Sox needed Billy Wagner like a hole in the head. They’re loaded with relievers, and the bullpen has actually been the strongest part of the team this season. Okijima’s their lefty specialist, and they have plenty of reliable arms to get them to Paps on a nightly basis.
The Yanks on the other hand, are struggling to find a reliable lefty out of the bullpen. Phil Coke has gone flat, after a strong June (0.71 ERA) he’s posted a 5.59 ERA in July and a ghastly 10.55 ERA for the month of August. Damaso Marte has recently returned from the DL and looked good so far, but the jury is still very much out on him. If the Yanks had one need, it would be for a Lefty reliever.
After spending the entire trade deadline telling everyone that the days of these kinds of waiver claims are over (citing the economy) it looks like Cashman will have to rethink that point of view. Clearly, Theo Epstien doesn’t feel the same way.
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