CLEVELAND (AP) – 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 seven-player swap.
Gagne, who has a limited no-trade 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 All-Star 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.
Boston sent left-hander Kason Gabbard and minor league outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre to the Rangers, who were the busiest team in the majors before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. EDT non-waiver trade deadline. Earlier, they completed the deal that sent Teixeira and pitcher Ron Mahay to the Braves for rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and four minor leaguers.
Last week, the Rangers traded outfielder Kenny Lofton to the Cleveland Indians for minor league catcher Max Ramirez.
Milwaukee, clinging to its NL Central lead, also had been interested in obtaining Gagne.