Billy Wagner spoke to the media for the first time since being acquired from the Mets Tuesday in exchange for Chris Carter and player to be named later. Here is the roundup from the press conference, thanks to WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia.
Wagner noted that he has no problem with current Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon and that the comments the two made about each other were overblown. On all of the deliberation as to whether he would waive his no-trade clause to come to Boston and his eventual decision to do so, Wanger said "I'm excited. My biggest concern was can I fulfill what they're asking for."
Wagner will wear his customary No. 13 with Boston after shortstop Alex Gonzalez switched from 13 to 3. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen today and isn't expected to see game action until tomorrow. When he does finally make his Red Sox debut, Wagner said that the adjustment to the American League probably won't be as big a deal as it would be for a starting pitcher.
The six-time NL All-Star is 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery. On his return from surgery at the age of 38, Wagner spoke of the obstacles he overcame.
"I was told my career [was] over," Wagner said. "I just stuck with [physical therapist] Chris Correnti.
"My fastball has quite a bit of life right now," added Wagner, who hit 96 mph at Citi field in a scoreless eighth inning last Thursday. "This Tommy John isn't looking so bad right now "
Wagner remains 15 saves away from 400 and said he wants to reach the milestone. Whether he will be able to do that in a Red Sox uniform remains to be seen, considering the likes of Papelbon and Daniel Bard that probably rank higher on manager Terry Francona's totem pole.
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