The Milwaukee Brewers have reached a deal with former Red Sox reliever Eric Gagne on a one-year, $10 million deal, where he will be the club's closer. (And the Red Sox finalized a one-year deal with Mike Timlin yesterday.)
There were rumors going around on Friday that Gagne would accept arbitration by the deadline, which was midnight Friday. That simply made no sense, as Gagne wanted to be a closer again, and that wasn't happening in Boston. So now he gets a shot to claim his old role back in Milwaukee.
Gagne's numbers in Boston were simply hideous (and I won't list them here). However, getting him last July 31 was absolutely the right move, as the Sox needed the bullpen reinforced. They traded Kason Gabbard and David Murphy to make it happen, but neither was in the Red Sox long range plans. There were concerns about how Jonathan Papelbon and Hideki Okajima would hold up as the season wound down. Gagne was the best option out there, and the move was universally applauded.
No one could have any idea just how bad he would be. Every outing was an adventure for Gagne, and he rarely got a 1-2-3 inning. The meltdowns he went through in Baltimore and Toronto were extremely painful to watch. Fortunately, Gagne did not cost the Red Sox the AL East title. But the worst was the Game 2 loss to Cleveland in the ALCS. He was the last best option out of the pen in that extra inning game, and he began the seven-run disaster that evened the series. After that he was strictly a garbage time pitcher. He was on the mound when the Red Sox won the pennant, but they also had a nine-run lead at the time. If it had been much closer, he would have been nowhere near the pitcher's mound.
Now, Gagne goes to Milwaukee to try and revive his career. I'm sure they'll be more than a few Red Sox fans who'll be keeping an eye on him to see how he does.