Braves closer Billy Wagner says he will retire after season

Braves closer Billy Wagner plans to join manager Bobby Cox in retirement after this season.

Wagner on Friday told Cox that this will be his last year as a player. The 38-year-old left-hander wants to spend more time on his Virginia farm with his wife and four children. He said he contemplated retiring after last season but reconsidered.

"I still like the competition, that’s why I do it," Wagner tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I like going out and winning, that still drives me. But being home with them last year (while recovering from elbow surgery), I enjoyed it. There’s so much more to offer them at this age, and I need to be home."

Wagner, who is sixth on the all-time list with 387 career saves, tells the AJC he will not play even if his $6.5 million option for 2011 vests. The option takes effect if Wagner finishes 50 games this season.

He will make $7 million in 2010.

Braves closer Billy Wagner plans to join manager Bobby Cox in retirement after this season.

Wagner on Friday told Cox that this will be his last year as a player. The 38-year-old left-hander wants to spend more time on his Virginia farm with his wife and four children. He said he contemplated retiring after last season but reconsidered.

"I still like the competition, that’s why I do it," Wagner tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I like going out and winning, that still drives me. But being home with them last year (while recovering from elbow surgery), I enjoyed it. There’s so much more to offer them at this age, and I need to be home."

Wagner, who is sixth on the all-time list with 387 career saves, tells the AJC he will not play even if his $6.5 million option for 2011 vests. The option takes effect if Wagner finishes 50 games this season.

He will make $7 million in 2010.

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