Billy Wagner plans to retire

Billy Wagner told the New York Post that he plans to retire in the offseason.

“I don’t plan on talking to nobody,” Wagner said, when asked where he might pitch next season.
Does that mean retirement?

“Why wouldn’t I?” he said. “I’ve got nothing else to [accomplish].”

That’s a different picture than Wagner painted before leaving the Mets for the Red Sox in August as part of a waiver deal. The 38-year-old lefty, who returned from an 11-month hiatus after undergoing Tommy John surgery, had said his plan for next year was to pursue a closer’s job near his Virginia home — perhaps Washington, Baltimore or Cincinnati — and make a run at the 15 saves he needs to reach 400 for his career.

The Red Sox have agreed not to pick up Wagner’s $8.8 million option for next year, allowing him to become a free agent and pursue his goal.

But yesterday, Wagner indicated the saves milestone is not relevant to his decision.

“That’s just dust in the wind,” he said.

In the end, the 400-save mark is just a number. But for a closer, it’s a pretty big number and I can’t imagine Wagner not wanting to pursue the 15 saves he needs in order to notch No. 400.

As long as he’s healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised if he changed his mind and wound up with a non-contender so he could be a closer. But we’ll see.

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