Eric Gagne is officially no longer a Dodger after signing a one year, six million dollar contract, plus five million in incentives, with the Texas Rangers. It seems like a fair deal to me. If Randy Wolf, who has done nothing but get injured and pitch terribly the last three years gets eight million, Gagne deserves at least six for doing nothing the past two years. From 2002-2004, Gagne had what is certainly the most dominant stretch by any relief pitcher in history, putting together three of the top 11 relief seasons according to wins above expected reliever.
If, and this is a big if, Gagne can pitch, I think he'll still be dominant. Extremely small sample size here, but here's what Gagne did from 2004-2005: 15.3 innings, 25 K, 4 BB, 2HR
14.7 K/9 even with his lost velocity. If he can pitch, he should, at the very least, be better than current Ranger closer Akinori Otsuka. Even though Gagne was one of the few superstars the Dodgers have had in my lifetime, I can't say I feel all that bad about losing him. If he had pitched the last two years, this would probably hurt, but I'm long past the point where I expect to see Gagne in a Dodger uniform.
What does concern me is how badly the press will treat Ned Colletti when they get this news. Colletti refused to offer Gagne arbitration, low balled him on his salary, and is rumored to have cut off communications with Gagne's agent all together. If the press threw a fit when Jose Lima was treated the same way, think of how they will react for a Dodger hero. Still, I applaud Ned for making the right move despite the pressure from the media.
Or they could, you know, do nothing, whatever works.