Thursday, November 30, 2006

Eric Gagne Guaging Interest of Red Sox, Indians

Former Dodgers closer Eric Gagne is attempting to guage the interest of the Indians and Red Sox in signing him, but is leaving the door open for a return to Los Angeles. The Dodgers bought out Gagne's contract for $1 million after doubts continued about his health following back and two elbow operations. Gagne, 30, claims to be ready to resume play, but the stumbling block centers around his durability. He hasn't pitched in 16 months and, even if he returned to play tomorrow, it likely would take as long as two years before he could with certainty be given a clean bill of health. Gagne has yet to demonstrate that he can throw in a game situation. Though his arm is believed sound, degenerative discs in the spine remain subject to potential relapse. So far Gagne has beaten the odds as back surgery statistically has been shown to result in improved health in only about 33 percent of cases. Historically, 33 percent of patients gain no benefit from the procedure and another 33 percent are worse off.