Sox Stun Yankees, Grab Gagne

Ace reliever overcomes Boston phobia for $2.1M signing bonus
By Joseph Fasano,  Newser User
Posted Aug 1, 2007 7:13 AM CDT
Texas Rangers pitcher Eric Gagne delivers to the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, July 23, 2007. The Rangers won 8-7. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Yankees had hoped to nab ace reliever Eric Gagne from the Texas Rangers; instead, he signed with their AL-East rivals yesterday, breaking a no-trade clause with the division-dominating Red Sox. The Sox, who handed Gagne a $2.1M signing bonus, bought insurance for a bullpen which already includes All-Stars Jonathan Papelbon and Hideki Okajima.

Boston released Papelbon's previous set-up man, Kason Gabbard, along with two minor leaguers. With Gagne back in shape after recent back surgery, Boston is looking to protect a seven-game lead over the streaking Yanks. Meanwhile, New York surrendered even more relief last night—dealing reliever Scott Proctor to LA for infielder Wilson Betemit.