Eric Gagne was once considered one of the best relievers in MLB history. While he doesn’t have the same fire in his fastball anymore, Gagne still has a lot of passion for the game of basdeball. The Long Island Ducks like his passion so much that they have come to terms with the former Dodger.
The Ducks sent out a press release early this weekend to announce the signing of the former NL Cy Young Award winner. In regards to the signing, Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff stated:
“Eric is similar to so many former Major League players that utilize the Atlantic League as a showcase to be seen by all 30 big league clubs. The Ducks are pleased to offer him this opportunity.”
Eric Gagne is a three-time All-Star who pitched for the Dodgers in the beginning of his career. Originally a starting pitcher, Gagne struggled in the role. When he became a reliever, he thrived. In his first year as closer with the team in 2002, he had 52 saves. 2003 became a banner year for him, saving 55 consecutive saves. It turns out he wasn’t even close to being done. Between August 26, 2002 and July 5, 2004, he converted 84 consecutive save chances, a major league record.
Injuries (a second Tommy John Surgery, among other issues) forced him to miss a significant amount of time. Since his time with the Dodgers, Gagne has been around the league quite a bit. He attempted to make a comeback with the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Quebec Capitales, etc.
The Ducks are willing to give Gagne the opportunity he has been looking for. If he can pitch like fans saw all those years ago, the three-time Atlantic League Champions could be in luck this season. This will also be a big test to see if the 41-year old Gagne can make a comeback for the ages.