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Phillies Struck At Right Time To Get Wagner

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The Phillies trade for closer Billy Wagner not only gives their bullpen an immediate improvement and legitimacy, it may pave the way for other moves. Wagner is a known quantity. His career numbers are probably better than even the most avid baseball fan realizes and he's got a desire to win. Off the field, his personality should fit in well in the clubhouse, which is always an important part of any trade.

Billy Wagner may have put himself in the Houston doghouse last season when he criticized the front office for not doing more to improve the team. When the Astros looked for ways to cut salary after the 2003 season, they looked first and foremost at the $8.0 million that Wagner was set to earn (plus another $3.0 million in a buyout for the 2005 season) and decided that he was a likely one to...

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