Wagner Wants His Freedom to Close

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Billy Wagner wants to be a closer next season, regardless of which team he's on.

That's why the Mets reliever says Boston must guarantee it will decline his contract option for 2010 before he would approve a potential trade this week to the Red Sox, who already have a star closer in Jonathan Papelbon.

"I don't want to end my career as a setup man," said Wagner, 38, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, which includes an $8 million option for next year with a $1 million buyout.

If his option is declined, he can become a free agent and sign with any team. Wagner confirmed Monday that Boston placed a waiver claim on him last Friday.

Wagner, sixth on the career list with 385 saves, said he'd like to reach 400 and then pass John Franco (424) for the most by a left-handed pitcher.

-- ADENHART TRIBUTE: Janet Gigeous, mother of late Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart who was killed in an traffic accident in April, on Sunday joined about 150 people in putting Adenhart's name on the Little League field in Halfway, Md., where he honed his skills. The red, white and blue sign designates the diamond as Nicholas James Adenhart Memorial Field.

-- BIG RED LOSS: William J. Williams Sr., one of the owners of the Reds from their Big Red Machine days when the club won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76, died Sunday night at age 93. His family sold its controlling interest in the team in 1985.

-- From News Services

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