Red Sox get their man in Gagne
07/31/2007 5:24 PM ET
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- The Red Sox added a major piece to their bullpen on Tuesday with the acquisition of Eric Gagne from the Texas Rangers in exchange for left-handed pitcher Kason Gabbard and Minor League outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre.
Gagne waived the no-trade clause in his contract to make the deal official. He'll serve as Jonathan Papelbon's setup man and close on days that Papelbon is getting rest.
"We're excited. We feel like we have a really good club. We were looking for ways to strengthen it, and I think the bullpen is already a strength of the club," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. "Acquiring a pitcher the caliber of Eric Gagne only makes us stronger. It helps gives us what we hope will be a truly dominant bullpen for the remainder of the year.
"Eric is obviously one of the most decorated closers in recent memory. He'll be joining this club primarily in the setup capacity, pitching with Hideki Okajima in front of Jonathan Papelbon and taking save opportunities here and there when Jonathan is not available. To have him agree to waive his no-trade and come here in that role means a lot to this organization."
Gagne, who was a target of the Red Sox last winter, is having a strong year (2-0, 2.16 ERA and 16 saves) for the Rangers. Because of injuries, Gagne pitched in just 16 games in a span of two seasons entering this year. However, he regained his health and his dominance in Texas.
Gabbard was scheduled to pitch for the Red Sox on Wednesday night. Instead, Tim Wakefield will take his place.
Gabbard is 4-0 with a 3.73 ERA and has been a mainstay in the rotation since Curt Schilling went on the disabled list in June. Schilling is expected to return to the rotation on either Sunday or Monday.
Gagne appeared in three All-Star Games during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is eligible for free agency following the 2007 season.