Monday, November 28, 2005

Country Mouse in the Big City

Billy Wagner is a New York Met today after signing a 4-year contract worth $43 million. The deal includes a team option in 2010 for a fifth year. The contract breaks down nice and easy with Wagner set to collect $10.5 million for each of the four seasons ($42 million guaranteed) and then either get paid $8 million in 2010 to pitch for the Mets or $1 million to go away.

The Phillies obviously now need to address the hole in the back of their bullpen. Wagner is gone. B.J. Ryan is gone. To whom do the Phillies turn? Could it be.....Tom Gordon? Stay tuned.

The fallout from the Wagner signing doesn't end at the big league level. To the best of my understanding, the Wagner signing will result in the movement of draft picks from the Mets to the Phillies. Wagner was a Type A Free Agent so the compensation is steep - a first rounder (so long as it isn't in the top half of the draft order) and a pick in the compensatory round between the first and second rounds. That's quite a haul. The Phillies original pick was at the 21st spot in the first round, but due to the Mets signing of Wagner, the Phillies will receive New York's first round pick (18th overall) and a compensatory pick (believed to be 31st overall). If the Phillies sign a Type A Free Agent, they'll lose their original first rounder (21st), but they can not lose either of the new picks from the Mets.

This is all very welcomed news to a franchise that has seen the farm system slowly picked away at over the past few years through promotions, trades, and an overall lack of top of the draft selections due to free agent signings. Two young arms added in the Thome deal, two high picks added here, I'd say things are looking up for the long-term future of the franchise. As for the short-term, let's see what happens with Tom Gordon and any other potential closer target. That will really give an indication of what is going on in Gillick's head and where the team is going in 2006.


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