Billy Wagner is coming to Atlanta for a reported one-year, $7 million deal with a $6.5 million option in 2011 that vests if he finishes at least 50 games next season.
It’s a low-risk signing, considering the money involved. Yes, Wagner is 38 and fresh off elbow surgery, but he appeared as effective as ever in 17 appearances with the Mets and Red Sox, striking out 26 in 15-2/3 innings. He has a career 2.39 ERA and has averaged well more than a strikeout per inning. Among active pitchers only Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman have more saves.
Frank Wren still has enough money left to fix the offense AND add depth to the ‘pen. Wagner, O’Flaherty, Moylan and Medlen form a solid late-inning nucleus, though the Bravos could use at least one more proven reliever. Free agents Octavio Dotel and LaTroy Hawkins would be ideal supplements.