How do you pronounce Gagne?

18 Jan

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Before I start, yesterday I posted some survey questions regarding, Live Chats, the podcasts and the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009. Please consider helping me out by responding to the survey.


The Twins talk at the end of last week, and through the weekend, was their reported discussions with Scott Boras about free agent relief pitcher Eric Gagne. This isn’t a call. Don’t report it as fact yet. But I just have a strong feeling, an intuition, a gut feeling (and I have a big gut, so how can it be wrong?) that this is legit. I believe that there is a very good chance that the Twins will sign Eric Gagne. I’m not completely certain about how I feel about that, if it were to happen. I mean, like most Twins fans, I have spent all offseason waiting for something to happen. Anything! But at the same time, I don’t want the team to sign just anyone. It has to make sense.


Eric Gagne is a big name, no question. He was the most dominant reliever in baseball… from 2002 until his arm blew up after 14 games into his 2005 season. That forced him to miss the rest of that season and most of the 2006 season. He wasn’t particularly good in 2007, and 2008 was a struggle as well. He missed about six weeks (mid-May through June) on the Disabled List.


But that isn’t to say that signing Eric Gagne would be a bad thing. Reality is that Gagne just turned 33 years old. He hasn’t had arm problems since his elbow surgery. His velocity will never get to what it was earlier this decade, but his ability to throw a big time changeup is what made him so great anyway. In September for the Brewers last year, he gave up three runs in an inning on September 1st, and his ERA rose to 6.81. He then gave up just one more run over his final 11 outings of the season, and then added two scoreless innings against the Phillies in the playoffs.


Can Eric Gagne help the Twins? Well, after signing for $10 million a year ago to close for the Brewers, he quickly lost his closer’s role. I’m sure he would love to go to a team to close, but I don’t think it will happen (of course, the Tigers still are in need of a closer). So, his best shot would be an 8th inning gig, setting up for another team’s closer and being there in case of injury. Joe Nathan is the Twins closer. No question there. Gagne would compete to pitch in 8th innings. Along with a group including Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares and even Boof Bonser, he would add depth to a bullpen with question marks.


So the real question mark becomes the contract demands. Since Scott Boras is involved, the assumption is that he will try to get Gagne as much money as he can. I mean, that is his job, right? But Boras also has a history of putting his clients that have something to prove into good situations, situations where they can succeed and reclaim their status. Then one year later, they can get big money again. Look no further than the Twins signing Kenny Rogers in 2003 to a one year contract. It appears that teams are not willing to give Gagne more than one year. The question becomes; how much will that one year cost? What would you be willing to pay if the risk is only for one year?


I would be comfortable with the Twins offering a base salary of up to $2.0 million. I would then offer a couple of incentives based on appearances and games finished. I would offer an extra $200,000 for appearing in 35 games, and another $200,000 for every ten games beyond that. (So, if he pitched in 65 games, he would earn an extra $800,000. On top of that, I would offer an extra $500,000 for every ten games finished, starting at 25 games finished. If he finished 35 games, he would earn an extra $1,000,000. That would be feasible only if Joe Nathan were to miss time and Gagne would become the team’s closer. So again, if Gagne were to stay healthy all year, and pitch in 65 games, and complete 35 of them, he would make $3.8 million which would be more than fair.


Oh, and at least it would be better than signing Brandon Lyon, right?  


So, hear comes the pronunciation question that I mentioned in the title, a question in which I obviously spent way too much time thinking about, even if it was just a few seconds… would the Twins signing him have you pronouncing his name:


Eric Gagne (Gone-YAY!!!!)




Eric Gagne (Gag-Me!)   


I’m curious about what you think about the Twins potentially signing Eric Gagne. Would you like the signing, or would you see it as another attempt to bring in a veteran several years past his prime, rather than just going with their own developed players like Rob Delaney, Zach Ward, or even Boof Bonser of Phil Humber? Leave your comments here.   


16 Responses to “How do you pronounce Gagne?”

  1. SHS January 18, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    for me its Eric Gag-Me

    I’d rather Have Lyon, or Mota, or even Chad Cordero

  2. Dome Dog January 19, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    I would like the Gagne signing on a 1 year deal. I think he could still bounce back and have a dominant year as an 8th inning guy…and if he doesn’t, you cut him a couple months into the season and give Delaney or someone else their shot.

  3. Erok January 19, 2009 at 12:58 am #

    hmmmm…. i’m fine with a respectable one-year contract, plus incentives. i’m with you. twins should do something, but not anything.

  4. Tyler January 19, 2009 at 4:21 am #

    Sign him

  5. Ned January 19, 2009 at 7:04 am #

    Stay within the organization. I would much rather watch potential than mediocrity.

  6. Glanzer January 19, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    I’m desperate enough for some sort of off-season move that I’d be thrilled to see Gagne signed.

  7. Lee January 19, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    I wish they would look outside the org. just not in pitching…save that money sign a 3B or get a near top prospect and give 10 of your arms in the system a chance if needed. I do not believe they would have to look that deep though.

  8. Erica January 19, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Living in Milwaukee, I already had the Gagne experience with the Brewers- it was painful. No thanks.

  9. JA January 19, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    I’d be for it if he’s deemed healthy. One thing the coaching staff has excelled at is bullpen management. With health and a defined role Gone-yay!!!, could really help.
    I fully believe the Twins will have a strong pen. Mijares can flat out deal, along with Guerrier, Crain, and Boof, who should learn a relief role with his two plus pitches (fastball, curve).

  10. Steve January 19, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    Nobody respects your opinion more than me Seth but Gagne is terrible and would be a bad signing. I am not quite sure why you do not like Brandon Lyon because that would be a tremendous pickup. Lyon has a high era as a closer but as a setup man he has been great. This would be the perfect place for him to pitch because with all the bullpen arms he would not be used too much. Pefect fit for Lyon and the Twins but it will probably not get done. Smith is a moron and does not want to spend any money to improve the Twins.

  11. Rosterman January 19, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    I might expect the Twins to take on Cordero and have him work in the minors for half-a-season.

    I think the braintrust still thinks Crain/Guerrier are the 8th inning guys. That leaves Mijares and Breslow, both capable of facing more than 1-2 batters, in the bullpen. And the Twins need to keep Boof and Humber until they gatehr some worth. Unless either sucks bigtime in spring training, I would expect both to start the season with the Twins. Plus, both of those guys are potentially capable backups if someone blows up in the starting rotation.

    Remember, the Twins do have bodies that could fill in as the season progresses. Duening, Mulvey will probably see time as starters. They have a host of relievers with potential in the wings, so investing millions in a pitcher to fill the #7 bullpen spot is not a necessity. Rememebr that the Twins filled that role with Brian Bass last season and Willie Eyre the season before. If anything, it’s nice to have a potential strong 5-6 man bullpen so you can play with that one roster spot as a tryout/experience.

    Plus the Twins have Henn, Keppell, Gosling, Jones, Dickey around for potential back-up, too…although at elast one won’t break spring training camp, I’m sure.

    Like so many fans, I want to see the Twins spend money and make moves and add a name that ahs more amrquee value than 1/2 the current roster. But then, when you look at the big picture, it isn’t really necessary.

    If there is one shortage…it’s a true backup for Morneau at first who could also contribute to the team in other ways (bench and utility player). Hummm….Doug Mientkiewicz hasn’t signed anywhere and he’s been playing a bit of third and a bit in the outfield.

    Now that a signing…that won’t happen.

  12. Greg January 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Gagne has better overall stats than Lyon.

    Twins have dealth with Boras. One year deal with club option for year 2.

    Then bring in Crede.

    His stats hurt are still power numbers the Twins can use!

  13. mike wants wind January 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Had they not signed Punto, I’d have said no for sure. That money could have been combined with the PUnto money to get a legit middle infielder or 3B or upgrade at DH.

    I’d rather they reinvest that money in Mauer. I’d rather they spend that on a 3B or middle infielder. I just don’t see Gagne as that much better (or maybe even as worse) than the many options they have on their roster already.

  14. Nils January 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    They should sign him, they have the money, I don’t think that would be a problem. At this point, you might as well roll the dice. Maybe, if we keep him in good situations, he could flourish, then we have a top-notch 1-2 punch, and one of the best bullpens in the league, worst case scenario we are still better than last year.

  15. Average Joe January 19, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    I wouldn’t take Gagne if he were offered FREE. He’s a steroid boy who has completely lossed it since he had to give up the juice.

  16. GENO January 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    If Rick Anderson likes him,sign him.As stated earlier,the staff does a great job monitoring pitch counts and Andy might even improve Gagne’s change up!

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