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Could the Braves have claimed Billy Wagner?

Jon Heyman of has a Twitter post up that says Mets reliever Billy Wagner has been claimed on waivers by some unknown team. After some head scratching, I just keep thinking that it might make sense for the Braves to have claimed him.

Wagner is owed about $2.5 million for the remainder of the season, and he has a $1 million buyout on an $8 million option for next year. There's a chance that we still have $2.5 mil in the kitty to spend for the remainder of this season.

If the Braves did claim him -- and they got a chance to see how good he was up close last night -- it makes sense from several angles. First, one of the teams rumored to need him is the Marlins, who may have been ahead of us in the standings at the time of the claim. Blocking Wagner from going to the Marlins would potentially help us in the division or wildcard race. Heck, several of the teams in the wild card race might want him, and blocking him from going to one of those teams is a wise move.

Another angle here, is if the Mets were willing to just let Wagner go and let us assume his contract, then we get another fresh bullpen arm for the rest of the season. We would also essentially be giving Wagner a two month audition to see if he can be our closer next year (with Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez both free agents this winter).

We're also somewhat thin in quality bullpen depth. Take a look at our 40-man roster and there's only one or two relievers not currently on the 25-man roster who could help out in case of injury.

Anyway, I'm totally spit-ballin, but this kind of makes some sense.

[UPDATE 6:15pm]

So much for that theory. According to K-Ros, it looks like the Red Sox claimed Wagner.

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