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December 12, 2006

Gagne Signed

Texas signed reliever ERIC GAGNE to a one-year contract for $6 million with (allegedly) $5 million in incentives.

The ultimate high-risk high-reward signing. Gagne has pitched in only sixteen games over the past two years, missing time with nerve-replacement surgery on his elbow and disc surgery on his back. So why drop no fewer than $6 million on a two-year hospital resident, particularly when the bullpen is already a team strength? Here’s why:

Hitters Against Gagne by Plate Appearance, 2002-2006:

Strikeout 38.7%
Out in play 36.8%
Single 10.8%
Walk 6.2%
Double 2.9%
Homer 1.5%
Hit by pitch 1.1%
Sac bunt 1.1%
Sac fly 0.4%
Reached on error 0.3%
Triple 0.2%

Opponents have batted .169/.229/.254 against him during the past five years. He had a WARP of over ten in 2003, an absolutely outrageous number for a relief pitcher. If he returns most of the way to his prior form, he could be worth five to seven wins. Gagne’s presence also makes a trade of Aki Otsuka (packaged for starting pitching, presumably) more likely.

Posted by Lucas at December 12, 2006 06:14 PM