Rays react to Red Sox move for Wagner
Pena expects to face fiery lefty in series next week
TORONTO -- Gallows humor in the Rays' clubhouse met Tuesday's news that hard-throwing left-hander Billy Wagner had been traded to the Red Sox.
"It's fantasy baseball," Carlos Pena said. "And that's OK. I think we as a team embrace that underdog idea. And I'm not saying underdog talent-wise. I'm talking about we're not that big market team with all that money to go out and get whatever we want to get. And move around, and pay this, and pick up this payroll and the other payroll.
"But we embrace that. We love that. We love that we have to win with what we've got. And I think that's awesome. I think that's an awesome concept, because at the end, it feels so much better when you actually do."
Scott Kazmir grew up in Houston idolizing Wagner, who then pitched for the hometown Astros.
"The Red Sox make the moves, I'll tell you," Kazmir said. "I think it was a good move to be honest with you. Get another fresh arm, a lefty that throws hard to an already stacked bullpen. I think it was a good move."
Pena smiled when asked, "How much better could the Red Sox bullpen get?"
"It's one of those things, I think it's the mentality, the more the merrier," Pena said. "We'll deal with it."
The Red Sox begin a three-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field next Tuesday. Pena, who hits left-handed, obviously is one of the hitters in the Rays' lineup likely to see Wagner.
"I'm sure we'll see him," said Pena with a chuckle. "At least I will."
Carl Crawford offered his little giggle upon hearing the news.
"Yeah man, it's the AL East, you can't expect anything less," Crawford said. "It's as tough as possible."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.