Gagne traded to Red Sox as Rangers widen fire sale

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

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.

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