Gagne traded to Red Sox as Rangers widen fire sale
CLEVELAND— With Eric Gagne finally pitching like his old self following two elbow operations and back surgery, the Boston Red Sox acquired the reliever from the Texas Rangers, who also unloaded first baseman Mark Teixeira to Atlanta in a sevenplayer swap.
Gagne, who has a limited notrade clause, consented to the trade Tuesday afternoon, a person familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not yet been made.
Once one of baseball’s premier closers, Gagne joined a Boston bullpen that already had two AllStar relievers: closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup man Hideki Okajima.
But the Red Sox, who entered Tuesday leading the AL East by eight games over the New York Yankees, didn’t want to take any chances of blowing their big lead and acquired Gagne to bolster the back end of their bullpen after consecutive implosions last weekend by Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen.
The 31-year-old Gagne was a three-time All-Star and won the NL Cy Young Award in 2003 when he saved 55 games for the Dodgers.
Gagne had 45 saves in 2004 but was limited to just 14 the following season because of elbow problems that eventually needed surgery. The hard-throwing native of Montreal pitched in only two games last season as he tried to come back from another elbow operation as well as surgery to repair a herniated disc.