Gagne wants to "pay back" Brewers
Here are some quotes from new Brewer Eric Gagne, who returned to Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday as a Minor Leaguer on a mission:
“I let the team and the organization down,” said Gagne, who inked a Minor League deal with the Brewers and reported to big league camp just in time for a physical exam and Milwaukee’s first full-squad workout. “The one thing is that it’s easy to succeed, it’s hard to fail. …
“They paid me a lot of money last year and I didn’t really deliver. This is a little bit of payback.”
On being a $10 million bust last season: “You look at your paycheck every two weeks and it’s like, ‘Man, that’s crazy what I get paid for,’ and you put pressure on yourself,” Gagne said. “I felt bad about it. I want to pitch good. I was happy with the season because we made the playoffs, but I was disappointed because I knew [general manager Doug Melvin] took a chance on me last year, he stuck his neck out. … He gets judged on all his moves, [especially] the big moves, and it didn’t work out with me.”
On whether he turned down Major League offers from other teams to wait for a better deal that never came: “I’m not going to talk about that one,” Gagne said. “Yes and no. It was a weird offseason, let’s put it that way.”
He added: “I could have retired, but I’m not done.”
As I wrote yesterday and again this morning, Gagne has no assurances about a job and has tough competition from pitchers already on the 40-man roster. Barring injuries, I see two open spots and five 40-man guys with a shot: Jorge Julio, Todd Coffey, Eddie Morlan, Mark DiFelice and Tim Dillard.