12/09/07 11:53 AM ET
Report: Gagne to sign with Brewers
Newspaper says deal contingent upon physical
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers have a pending contract agreement with reliever Eric Gagne.
The newspaper reported on its Web site Saturday that the one-year deal could be for as much as $10 million. General manager Doug Melvin, attending the Marquette-Wisconsin basketball game in Madison, Wis., confirmed to the paper that a deal is in place, pending a physical. The team is holding off on an official announcement, the Journal Sentinel said, because of MLB guidelines instructing teams not to announce signings until any physicals have been completed.
"It's one of those things where you've got to wait a few days," Melvin told the paper.
Earlier Saturday, a Brewers spokesman would only confirm that the team had talked about Gagne.
The Brewers are looking for closer options after Francisco Cordero signed a four-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds and Scott Linebrink opted to sign with the Chicago White Sox.
Milwaukee did sign David Riske, who has 20 career saves, to a three-year deal and traded for Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Salomon Torres on Friday. Another possibility is Derrick Turnbow, who saved 39 games in 2005, then lost the closer job in '06 and was used as a setup pitcher last season.
However, Torres informed the Brewers that he may retire because of family commitments.
"I told him we'll respect his decision," Melvin told the Journal-Sentinel.
Gagne posted seasons of 52, 55 and 45 saves for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2002-04, but injuries to his elbow and back limited him to 15 innings over 16 games the next two seasons. Last year, he was a combined 4-2 with 16 saves in 20 opportunities and a 3.81 ERA with Texas and Boston.
After acquiring Torres on Friday, Melvin said the goal was to add guys with experience, and he noted that bullpen coach Billy Castro has had success at resurrecting pitchers' careers. Gagne may be another candidate.
Melvin had talked to Gagne's agent during the Winter Meetings, but he apparently did not want to sign the right-hander to a multi-year contract.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.