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braves-to-ink-billy-wagner | December | 2009 Articles

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Braves To Ink Billy Wagner

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Well it wasn't but a few hours ago that I posted a quote from Frank Wren saying the Braves were looking to be aggressive in advance of next week's winter meetings. Now we've got the first real Braves news of the offseason, with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com saying that the Braves have agreed to sign lefty closer Billy Wagner pending a physical tomorrow. K-Ros says the deal is a one-year deal worth $7 million, with an option for 2011 worth $6.5 million that vests if Wagner finishes 50 games in 2010.

We've written a lot about Wagner in the past couple weeks, and I'm a huge fan of the signing. The price is very reasonable, and Wagner is still every bit a dominating closer. His walk rate was a bit elevated after his return from Tommy John surgery last year (4.6 BB/9), but his fastball velocity was still up over 94 MPH and the sample size was small (not to mention he was rusty after more than a year of rehab). I think there's every reason to believe he'll be a dominant force at the back of the bullpen for the Braves in 2010, and possibly 2011 as well. A great early strike for Frank Wren; let's hope there are several more exciting moves in the works.

Note: Adding Wagner to the payroll analysis I conducted, we're now looking at 18 players under contract at a total cost of approximately $83.5 million.

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