Eric Gagne Free to Tear Up the Can-Am League…

…because the Dodgers have released him.

Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne asked for and was given his release by the Dodgers on Sunday night, ending a brief attempt to restart his career with his original team.

“Both sides thought at this juncture it was in Eric’s best interest to see if he can find another opportunity, rather than wait until later in spring or into April if he wants to continue to pitch,” said general manager Ned Colletti. “It’s better that he has a couple weeks to go.”

Gagne, 34, had accepted a Minor League assignment earlier this month, acknowledging that he needed more work to bring his game back to the Major League level after two years of shoulder problems that included spending last year in independent ball.

If there’s a surprise here, its that Gagne had agreed to go to the minors last week, and had pitched in just one (intrasquad!) game since then. Despite Colletti’s comments, I can’t imagine that word got to him that any other team was interested in giving him a shot, so it’s more than likely that Gagne realized his chances of making it back to the bigs were miniscule at best, and decided he had better things to do than ride buses around the southwest all summer.

I didn’t mind giving him a shot in camp, but personally I’m glad this is over before the season starts. We’ll always have 2003*, Eric.

(Hey, hopefully Ramon Troncoso can get #38 back!)