Are you wondering why Billy Wagner’s still on roster?

All winter long, we’ve been asked why closer Billy  Wagner was still on the Braves’ 40-man roster, after saying he retired following the 2010 season and not indicating any other intentions since.

All winter long, we’ve been told by team officials and Wagner’s agent that the left-hander is retired, period. The Braves have no plans to have him back, even though his $6.5 million option vested with 50 games finished in 2010. Wagner said from early last season that he would leave that on the table if it vested, that he was retired and that was that.

Billy Wagner, shown after one of his 37 saves in 2010, is still on the Braves' 40-man roster despite no indications he's reconsidered his retirement decision. So far, it's not been an issue for Braves, who won't need the roster spot until late spring.

Billy Wagner, shown after one of his 37 saves in 2010, is still on the Braves' 40-man roster despite no indications he's reconsidered his retirement decision. So far, it's not been an issue for Braves, who won't need the roster spot until late spring.

He never wavered in that throughout the season, to the point where teammates eventually stopped pleading with him to return, because they knew he was serious about shutting it down, calling it a career and going home to his wife and four children on their Virginia farm after the 2010 season and postseason. There is a $250,000 buyout of that option, but the Braves don’t pay it if he retires (or even if he doesn’t formally retire, but opts simply not to show up for spring training).

His agent has told Braves general manager Frank Wren a couple of times this winter that Wagner’s retirement paperwork would be filed and his retirement official. It’s still not official, but could be any day. There has been no indication from anyone involved that Wagner has reconsidered and is secretly getting ready to pitch again.

Here is a fairly typical question I’ve received via e-mail or my blog. This one came on the blog:

I know you are tired of this question but I think it’s a valid question to keep asking. Billy Wagner is still on the 40 man roster despite pitchers/catchers reporting next week. I find it hard to believe that the Braves don’t need that spot for something. They went thru the Rule 5 draft and lost LHP Scott Diamond to the Twins when theoretically they could have protected Diamond by adding him to the spot Wagner is holding at the moment. — Chopper

And here is my response, breaking it down by section:

I know you are tired of this question but I think it’s a valid question to keep asking. Billy Wagner is still on the 40 man roster despite pitchers/catchers reporting next week.

You certainly are entitled to keep asking as often as you like. All I can tell you is, Wren told me last week (when baseball writer Ken Rosenthal brought it up) that nothing had changed, no plans for Wagner to be back, etc. Wagner has indicated to no one with the Braves that he plans to pitch, and told a Richmond reporter after speaking at a hot-stove banquet there two weeks ago that he had no plans to do anything but stay retired.

I find it hard to believe that the Braves don’t need that spot for something.

Like what? Why would they want to have a full 40-man roster entering spring training, when they almost always need a space or two at the end of spring to add a non-roster invitee who wins a spot on the opening day roster? What would they use the spot for right now?

They went thru the Rule 5 draft and lost LHP Scott Diamond to the Twins when theoretically they could have protected Diamond by adding him to the spot Wagner is holding at the moment.

This specific question has been addressed several times since the Rule 5 draft. Even if the Braves had a spot open on the 40-man, Wren specifically said they would not have protected Diamond, and that they actually had a better shot at getting him later than they would’ve if they had protected him. Here’s the reasoning: If the Braves had protected Diamond before the Rule 5, he would almost certainly have been one of the first players dropped from the 40-man at the end of spring training when the Braves needed the roster spot for a player who might help them this season (Diamond, they determined, was/is not ready to help them this season. They don’t need him this season.)

In not protecting him, they lost him to Minnesota in the Rule 5 draft. The Twins now must keep him on their 25-man (major league) roster the entire 2011 season. There’s a good chance they won’t be able to do that, that they will decide they can’t carry him and need to use that roster spot for a player ready to help the Twins win now. In that case, they must offer him back to the Braves for $25,000, half of the claiming price the Twins paid. If that happens, the Braves would do it and take him back, then wouldn’t have to protect him but rather could simply send him to the minor leagues, since he’s got minor league options. They wouldn’t need to add him to their 40-man and could just let him continue developing in the minors for the season, then could protect him next winter if he’s ready.

Looking at the 40-man roster on atlantabraves.com reveals 41 names (including Wagner), so somebody is not on the 40 man roster that they are showing.

This one was explained a few weeks back, but you might’ve missed it since it was buried in a blog or the comments section, I’m not sure which. Anyway, reliever Jairo Asencio does not count on the 40-man roster because he wasn’t reinstated from the restricted list until after the 2010 season. He’s the pitcher who formerly went by the name Luis Valdez, which was bogus. He was on the restricted list after having visa issues that prevented him from getting out of the Dominican last year.

I just think at this late date it is significant that Wagner has not left the roster. If the Braves know he’s retiring for sure, why do they need to wait for him to file paperwork to free up the spot?

Because a team can’t “retire” a player; only a player can retire, by filing his paperwork. He’s on the roster because he had a vesting option that vested. So until he’s officially retired, the Braves can’t just drop him without paying a $250,000 buyout of that option. But if/when he doesn’t show up for spring training, that point will be moot and they won’t have to pay that buyout, regardless.

97 comments Add your comment

Caleb

February 11th, 2011
8:28 pm

First!!!!!! And I don’t think he will be back

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 11th, 2011
8:36 pm

IF…The Braves paid him the 250, wouldn’t THAT be their refusal to the contract?

Yes, I know he’s not coming back.

Gumbylovespokey

February 11th, 2011
9:04 pm

That’s what everyone says, but there’s this tiny element of doubt isn’t there,..just maybe…???

Dave

February 11th, 2011
9:20 pm

I started reading the article and started hoping Wagner was thinking of coming back. Oh well.

ISH

February 11th, 2011
9:24 pm

I still believe there’s a game of chicken going on here… Braves afraid to buy out his option for fear of Wags coming back and signing with someone else without compensation.. And Wags and his agent probably think if ATL did release him that he could possibly do better than the 6.5 million that ATL would pay him… or either ATL would trade him to someone he didn’t want to play for… Anyway, that’s been my opinion from the get go.

Carlos

February 11th, 2011
9:28 pm

I am glad that Wagner has stayed on the same retirement course this past year. Its always annoying when players pull a Brett Favre. I will be dissapointed if he Did choose to come back because its just a bit annoying to retire and com back, and because I am excited to see Craig Kimbrel close out games.

FJ10

February 11th, 2011
9:33 pm

I say bring him back in August….he can come riding in on one of his horses, just like the cavalry.

ffjsisk

February 11th, 2011
9:58 pm

Who cares, can we please bring back the bullpen cars?

Remarkable

February 11th, 2011
10:09 pm

Diamond will get invaluable time with the big league club. He will pitch against pros, not AAA hitters. If we get him back, he will be a better player than when he left, and with more experience.

kirkinga

February 11th, 2011
10:11 pm

Lots of interesting info and answers to some oft asked questions, but there is still some obvious questions that remain unanswered.

If Wagner was rock solid resolute about retiring, then why the delay in filing the paperwork? Is his agent lazy, or are there good reasons concerning timing that would explain why the paperwork wasn’t filed months ago?

I just don’t see how a guy like Wagner who was a pro’s pro, would be so casual with the process of retiring unless he had real good reasons for doing so. I just don’t see him not caring all of a sudden.

I serious doubt it will happen, but would anyone be surprised if we were to read that Chipper, or someone else had been privately working on persuading him to return and he gave it a much longer thought than all of the official public statements would have us all believe?

Jimmy Beam, you are my friend

February 11th, 2011
10:25 pm

Oh, the vagaries of baseball…. Wags was unbelievable and now he’s gone. The paperwork is just a formality. Kinda like the labels on my most recent batch of bourbon….

Salut to Wags! One of the greatest closers of the game!

Ken Stallings

February 11th, 2011
10:28 pm

Really good explanation on the Diamond situation, Dave. Being a baseball GM is without question the most complicated GM job in sports! There are so many rules in place and with the added burden on managing your minor league talent, there’s just nothing else like it.

Erin

February 11th, 2011
10:28 pm

Glad he’s staying retired, but why not just file the paperwork? He’s had since October. What’s the hold up?

DC Brave

February 11th, 2011
10:35 pm

Billy is going to stay retired until June. And then….he’s going to strap’em on for one more run at a Title. The funny thing is…he’ll think he has to convince the Braves that they need him. Frank Wren will laugh, and say….”OK Billy, you talked me into it.”

JoshTown

February 11th, 2011
10:45 pm

Nice breakdown DOB. Hope that puts the issue to bed. Bring on the spring!

Chop Chop

February 11th, 2011
10:55 pm

So you’re saying that Scott Thorman isn’t out of options?

mr man

February 11th, 2011
11:27 pm

All I know is if he came back we would easily have the best pen in the majors.

Wagner CL
Kimbrel SU
Venters SU
Moylan RHP
O’Flaherty LHP
Linebrink RHP
Sherril LHP

Good gracious.

David O'Brien

February 11th, 2011
11:57 pm

Really good explanation on the Diamond situation, Dave. Being a baseball GM is without question the most complicated GM job in sports! There are so many rules in place and with the added burden on managing your minor league talent, there’s just nothing else like it. — Ken Stallings

Agreed. NFL GM would be equally rigorous, if not for fact that teams have a guy who’s a “capologist” and understands that complicated salary cap up and down. So I’ll give edge in difficulty to baseball GM, considering all the minor league affiliates he has to keep tabs on, the draft (though scouting directors and farm directors obviously are delegated much of those duties, the GM oversees), fall league and winter league and instructional league, international free-agent rules, and the complexities of options, waivers (revocable and irrevocable), free agency, arbitration clocks, 15- and 60-day DLs, protected rosters, etc, etc.

ArkyTech

February 12th, 2011
12:11 am

OK, good stuff as always DOB. But it’s just so weird that the weekend before Spring Training the guy hasn’t filed his retirement papers. Just strange.

David O'Brien

February 12th, 2011
12:21 am

OK, good stuff as always DOB. But it’s just so weird that the weekend before Spring Training the guy hasn’t filed his retirement papers. Just strange. — ArkyTech

Why is it weird? I think most of us are commenting about a subject we’re really not at all sure about. I mean, as long as a player doesn’t play, he’s eligible for the Hall of Fame in 5 years. So it doesn’t really matter if he files his papers in a timely manner. I doubt Smoltz has filed his. The only reason we care at all is because Wagner happened to have an option that vested, so he’s on Braves’ roster until retirement papers are filed and it becomes official or he doesn’t show up for work.

Zing

February 12th, 2011
1:23 am

First, good blog as always, DOB.

Second, it really does seem a little bit odd that he hasn’t filed his retirement papers. In the case of Smoltz, e.g.– he still wanted to play; and he didn’t have his agent say that “oh, it’s just a matter of time, and blah blah blah.” Combined with the fact that I think a lot of Braves fans would love to see Wags back in action… it makes us feel like it IS strange.

That’s my take on it anyway…

mikemc

February 12th, 2011
2:25 am

What happens if Wagner does not report to spring training, but decides he wants to pitch later in the season? Is he still under contract with the Braves? Or is he a free agent?

SteveO

February 12th, 2011
3:21 am

If Wagner doesn’t show up to spring training he is in violation of his contract which makes it void. Also why would he file his paperwork, if the Braves need his roster spot because they make a trade or sign a player he would get 250K. I hope thats not the reason he hasn’t filed the paperwork, he’s made enough money but unless he’s being lazy thats the only other logical reason.

The Diamond question is easy to understand because he won’t make the Twins out of ST unless they have injuries and he has an amazing ST. We’ll get him back if we want him.

Burdell

February 12th, 2011
7:42 am

I imagine retiring from the only career you’ve known for 20 years wouldn’t be easy. I would probably delay as long as possible as well.

Trojan

February 12th, 2011
7:49 am

DOB: You asked why someone would say that it is strange for him not to have filed his papers? The fact that you mentioned this in February is proof that the Wagner situation is weird.

If it was not weird, why would it be the topic for this blog?

Hooter Girl

February 12th, 2011
7:59 am

Goodness folks, he ain’t coming back. I will bet my shorts on it.

Trojan

February 12th, 2011
8:02 am

I hope that he takes a couple of months off and then comes back and pitches in August, Sept and Oct for the Braves.

Browncoat

February 12th, 2011
8:12 am

I predict Wagner will come back from the dead, kind of a Zombie Wagner.

Steve Gibson

February 12th, 2011
9:01 am

Ken Stallings? Arkansas?

joedub

February 12th, 2011
9:37 am

Yo DOB! – I was wondering whether or you not you think Medlen will ever make another start for the Braves. I think he is a free agent at the end of the year(?) and it seems like the Braves won’t need to commit big bucks to him with the “young guns” on the way and the rest of the rotation secured long term.

I love the kid, but it seems to me like we’ve seen him make his last start with the Braves b/c of his injury.

Paul

February 12th, 2011
9:42 am

DOB, understand the writeup, but 1 thing got me. You state that we wouldn’t have to protect Diamond on the 40 man if he is returned to us by the Twins. Is that true? I always thought that whenever someone was dropped from the 40 man roster, then he had to clear waivers. Can you really just get around that by simply allowing another team to claim him in Rule 5? Seems like a fairly large loophole. You’d think some team could convince another team ($$, prospect) to simply take one of your guys in Rule 5 then give him back to avoid having to put him on the 40 man roster for the year…

reckingball

February 12th, 2011
9:47 am

It must be nice to be able to turn down $$6.5 million.

reckingball

February 12th, 2011
9:52 am

It doesn’t matter anyways, there is going to be a lock-out this season.

Oh my bad, that’s a completely different league.

GO BRAVES!

burdell

February 12th, 2011
10:11 am

Can you really just get around that by simply allowing another team to claim him in Rule 5? Seems like a fairly large loophole.

It’s not really a loophole. If Diamond was exposed to the Rule 5 draft and no one drafted him, he would still be a Brave but not on the 40-man roster. Requiring the Braves to put him on the 40-man after he’s returned would actually hurt them.

In that scenario, you could imagine a situation where the Phillies grab all of the Braves’ Rule 5 exposed players then return them solely to overload the Braves’ 40-man roster and force the Braves to DFA some other guys.

Sam

February 12th, 2011
10:40 am

Hooter Girl, I hope you lose :-)

DHD

February 12th, 2011
10:41 am

I believe if he came back, we would deal one of those pitchers not named Venters or Kimbrell.

Dan Kolb

February 12th, 2011
10:48 am

I’m available, just a call away …

Chris Reitsma

February 12th, 2011
10:49 am

John Rocker

February 12th, 2011
11:22 am

Me three…as long as I don’t have to go on road trips to New York!

Pecan

February 12th, 2011
11:43 am

I have a super secret inside source (a friend of Wagner’s family) that says he is definitely coming back. (Not really)

chris reitsma

February 12th, 2011
11:43 am

i’m available too!!!

bob wickman

February 12th, 2011
11:44 am

bob wickman

February 12th, 2011
11:45 am

sweatin’ like a mug!!!

Ken Stallings

February 12th, 2011
11:45 am

Steve Gibson,

I have been to Arkansas several times. Have even been based at Little Rock AFB a few times. But never really lived there nor am I from there.

Ken Stallings

February 12th, 2011
11:53 am

The intent of the Rule 5 draft is to keep teams that have truly outstanding draft experience from stocking a wagon load of talent in their minor league organizations. The intent is to ensure that players with true MLB talent are not relegated to the minor leagues. But, if you draft them, and they are not good enough to remain on your MLB roster, then you have violated the spirit of the draft and you end up getting a small financial penalty and the team you drafted him from gets a one-year pass to keep the player without further exposure.

The problem with the Rule 5 draft is that if you are a small market team like Kansas City and you have no other method to compete but by excellent drafting, then the Rule 5 draft depletes your talent pool. Given baseball is such an unpredictable sport for player development, it really hurts the small market clubs.

Coach (2011 and Fredi G. a GO!)

February 12th, 2011
11:54 am

Simply put, it’s paper work to be done and a lot of of wasted virtual ink on a moot point.

monty

February 12th, 2011
11:55 am

Hey Dave, while you are in an explain’n mood, what about that infield fly rule!! Skip always loved that one.

DC Brave

February 12th, 2011
11:57 am

I believe we’ll see Billy on the mound in either the 8th or 9th in July as much as I believe there will be a July….which until 2013, is a lot. :)

David O'Brien

February 12th, 2011
12:21 pm

Can you really just get around that by simply allowing another team to claim him in Rule 5? Seems like a fairly large loophole.

No, because that team can simply keep the player on its 25-man roster if it wants him bad enough. It only cost $50,000 to claim him, so there has to at least be some other restriction that prevents teams from wholesale raiding of another team’s Rule 5-eligible talent.

Burdell made a good point at 10:11 a.m.

Sherewshevsky

February 12th, 2011
12:21 pm

Great explanation on the rules, I think. Gives me a headache.

David O'Brien

February 12th, 2011
12:24 pm

DOB, understand the writeup, but 1 thing got me. You state that we wouldn’t have to protect Diamond on the 40 man if he is returned to us by the Twins. Is that true? I always thought that whenever someone was dropped from the 40 man roster, then he had to clear waivers. Paul

But he was never on the Braves’ 40-man roster to begin with, Paul.

As for the Twins, the team that takes a player in the Rule 5 draft (major league phase) and decides it doesn’t want to keep that player on its 25-man roster, must first offer the player back to his original team at half the claiming price. And if that team doesn’t want him back, then the team (Twins, in this case) can try to send him to the minors. But yes, he’d first have to clear waivers.

David O'Brien

February 12th, 2011
12:27 pm

Yo DOB! – I was wondering whether or you not you think Medlen will ever make another start for the Braves. I think he is a free agent at the end of the year(?) — joedub

Are we talking about the same Kris Medlen? The kid’s got less than two years of major league service, joedub. He’s not even eligible yet for arbitration for the first time, and you’re talking about free agency? You need six years of major league service for free agency. Medlen will have fewer than three years’ service at the end of the 2011 season, even with the full year of service he’ll get while on the DL this year.

Smiling Jack

February 12th, 2011
12:35 pm

Hooter Girl is not losing her pants…not that a bunch of people wouldn’t like to see Billy come back. Billy says it’s time to move on to retirement. It is definitely time for the Braves to move on for the coming season. Glad we have a General Manaer who can keep tabs on all this stuff. Should be a great baseball season for the Braves! Go Braves we all wish you well!

ray

February 12th, 2011
12:46 pm

If Wagner decided to play, the Braves have no money to pay him. They have no room in their budget for him even though Wren claimed in a gneral statement he has enough payroll from ownership in a recent quote. He has enough to have a shot at the wild card, but not be a serious contender.

Heath

February 12th, 2011
12:47 pm

Hi all. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the ol’ blog. I’m ready for the season to get going! Go Braves!

phil

February 12th, 2011
1:18 pm

Do you really think it matters if Wagner pitches? The Braves couldn’t hit a watermelon in the postseason if you lobbed it up there from 5 feet away. In the 16 postseason appearances since 1982, I would guess, and it really is a guess, that we’ve managed to hit about .230 with what, 20-25 homeruns, maybe a few more, and have scored somewhere from 100-130 runs, many of which in some of the early 90’s blowout wins.

We can’t hit in the postseason. Good pitching historically eats us up, especially since ‘95. Until we actually DO hit and win something again, then I’m not going to believe we might. Even in ‘95, we were fortunate to win game six 1-0. 1-0! Had it gone 7, they would’ve beaten us most likely.

At any rate, until we post 5 runs a game or so in the postseason, it won’t matter one damn bit what we do in the first 162…pessimistic? Nope. Living with reality.

David O'Brien

February 12th, 2011
1:20 pm

Ray: Braves would only have to pay Wagner $250,000 buyout of the option if he decided to pitch and they couldn’t afford to keep him.

burdell

February 12th, 2011
1:28 pm

Two questions for clarification:

1. How long can Jairo Asencio be on the restricted list? Can the Braves take him off whenever they want, or does he have to come off when his issue leading to being on the restricted list is resolved (i.e. he gets a visa)?

2. Someone made the claim that if Wagner doesn’t show up for Spring Training, then he can be released for violating his contract. Is that true, and if so, do the Braves retain any rights regarding his ability to sign elsewhere? Not that I have any notion of his return, but just asking. For all we know he could spend half the season on the farm, realize that he misses the game, then returns after the ASB.

[...] O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution did his best to dispel that notion last night, writing that there has been no indication from anyone involved that Wagner has wavered from [...]

hesalive

February 12th, 2011
1:37 pm

Should the Braves need him later this year I’m guessing Wags would leave his Virginia farm – with the blessing of his family – to help us win the World Series. He won’t come back with no such chance, though.

abwright

February 12th, 2011
1:55 pm

From previous reporting, I thought that all the retirement paperwork had been filed, but that it had gotten hung up somewhere, like the Players’ Union.

I doubt that Wagner would ever have anything more to do with this topic than sign a form that his agent put in front of him. Once that’s been done, he’s out of the loop. From the sound of things, that signature was obtained many moons ago.

I’m sure that Stringfellow would love for the Braves to pay the $250,000 buy out or for Billy to change his mind at the last minute and pitch another season for the Braves. However, all the parties that matter (Braves FO, Wagner) are following through on their commitments.

Don’t pitchers and catchers report pretty soon? Time to play some ball!

Mark Lemke

February 12th, 2011
1:58 pm

I’m coming out of retirement!!

meh

February 12th, 2011
4:22 pm

what happens if opening day rolls around and Wagner still hasn’t filed his paperwork and he didn’t come to spring training?

Phil

February 12th, 2011
5:07 pm

Trade him to the yankees … they need another closer.

Billy Jack's Barbeuce & Shrimp Co

February 12th, 2011
5:12 pm

DOB, when do you physically head to Dark Star? Taking your bike?

Heath

February 12th, 2011
5:41 pm

I just proposed…she said yes!

joedub

February 12th, 2011
8:36 pm

Yo DOB!! ok, nah same kris medlen, i just spaced on his service time. he’s a good pitcher. do you think he’ll ever be a regular part of the starting rotation? or do you think his role on the team remains in the bullpen until he hits free agency?

can you explain “super two arbitration” for us? and how medlen might qualify for that?

joedub

February 12th, 2011
8:38 pm

Yo DOB! also, you don’t have an extras for the avett brothers show in athens do you? hook a brother up!!

Kashi

February 12th, 2011
8:53 pm

Wags will be back after All Start Break if we are contending for first place or wild card. Hopefully I get chance to welcome Wags back with merigold garland out of right field door.

eskippy

February 12th, 2011
9:23 pm

Yo DOB! If you’re not to busy, could you go over the definition of parallel lines ?

eskippy

February 12th, 2011
9:32 pm

Quicherbichin

February 12th, 2011
9:35 pm

if Hooter Girl is really a Hooters Girl, i wouldn’t mind seeing her lose her shorts.

burdell

February 13th, 2011
12:08 am

Someone asked about Super Two:

Any player with between 3 years and 6 years of service time can file for arbitration. In addition, a player with less than 3 years but 2 or more years of service can qualify for arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 17 percent in total service among players who have at least 2 but less than 3 years of service.

Heyward will be a Super 2 most likely, but Medlen won’t.

Steve

February 13th, 2011
12:37 am

I love the thought of Wags coming back, as we would have an absolutely SICK pen. That being said, I am getting tired of this.

I find it completely unprofessional that he just won’t go thru the motions if he is really not coming back. If you like the Braves so much and respect them as an organization as he said, don’t hold the process up. If you are having second thoughts then thats a different story, but by all accounts he isn’t, or he is a very convincing liar.

I could care less about the 40-man spot. You know the Braves had to plan all off-season for him not coming back, and possibly spent money on the bullpen they otherwise might not have spent. You know that Venters, Kimbrel, Moylan and EO’F were coming back, but maybe you don’t sign reclamation projects Linebrink or Sherrill .. or Rodrigo Lopez who the Braves could only be considering for long relief. Yes, maybe it’s not a ton they are saving, but if Wags comes back and they end up dropping one of those guys from the MLB roster, then you are wasting money that could have been spent on a veteran utility infielder or outfielder. Maybe along the lines of Crosby, Eckstein or Everett .. or maybe even a guy like Willie Harris who ended up going to the Mets for $1 million. The list is nearly endless, and I LOVE the bullpen moves this off-season, but the reality is that if Wags comes back then it we could have spent that money elsewhere.

SteveO

February 13th, 2011
2:02 am

Really Burdell?

“Someone made the claim that if Wagner doesn’t show up for Spring Training, then he can be released for violating his contract. Is that true, and if so, do the Braves retain any rights regarding his ability to sign elsewhere? Not that I have any notion of his return, but just asking. For all we know he could spend half the season on the farm, realize that he misses the game, then returns after the ASB.”

Yep I said that his contract is void meaning they don’t have to pay him the 250k buyout and to put it a different way it puts him in violation of his contract since he isn’t showing up on the manditory reporting date. Now think about what you’re asking above. Ofcourse the Braves retain the rights to Wagner if he decides to play later this season. Why wouldn’t someone with a bad contract or that wants out of a city just say they are retiring and then come back and sign with a different team? Come on think a little and you might be able to come up with an answer.

Scott

February 13th, 2011
4:51 am

Dave, all of your explanations above regarding Wagner make perfect sense – still, how difficult is it to file retirement papers? Is it that tedious?

Scott

February 13th, 2011
4:57 am

Enter your comments here

What I Can With What I Got

February 13th, 2011
6:06 am

Money and fame are strong drugs. Even though Wags is prolly a gajillionaire leaving a pile of chips worth north of 6 mil on the table would take platinum cajones and leaving the lime light will be tough to do cold turkey. That would be like asking DOB to leave 6 months salary on the table and never listen to the blues again. That said, I believe Wags is a committed family man and will honor his word.

Chopdawg

February 13th, 2011
8:02 am

Seems like Wagner’s failure to file might end up costing the Braves $25K, if the Twins don’t keep Diamond & the Braves want him back.

PoconoPhils

February 13th, 2011
8:21 am

Wagner always was self-involved. By not filing the paperwork, he puts his team in an awkward position. Way to think only of yourself, redneck!

burdell

February 13th, 2011
9:05 am

Ofcourse the Braves retain the rights to Wagner if he decides to play later this season. SteveO

First of all, you do not need to be so abrasive in your response. Second, the scenario you mentioned was exactly my concern, however I’ve never seen a contract that is still enforceable after it has been voided. So unless there is something in the CBA, it seems like either that could be used as a reason to get out of a contract or it’s not true and the contract wouldn’t be voided.

John G.

February 13th, 2011
11:30 am

Come back, Billy Wags!

What I Can With What I Got

February 13th, 2011
12:03 pm

PP, You may want to fill that jelly bucket with some sour grapes.

chief pitchanono

February 13th, 2011
12:12 pm

Obviously we would love to have Wags back for one more year, but it doesn’t seem likely. Like D.O.B said him being on the roster probably means nothing. Plus if he came back it would be a pretty expensive bullpen. I think its time to give the younger kids a shot (Venters, Kimbrell) if their not ready and Linebrink or Sherill can’t get it done, maybe then we could start begging Wags to come back after the allstar break. Allot would have to go wrong for that to happen and it would have to be really clear that we talked him in to comeing out of retirement, because Billy doesn’t seem like the kinda guy who would just change his mind.

Tim Cummings

February 13th, 2011
12:29 pm

Well at the very least, we all know that Billy Wagner is a complete procrastinator. And really, we all should have seen this coming. I mean, his entire career he did wait till the last inning to get any work done.

What I Can With What I Got

February 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

^ Nice. Maybe it.s genetical.

joedub

February 13th, 2011
2:03 pm

Yo ESKIPPY! You know when you have two dongs in your mouth at the same time? That’s kind of the same principle as parallel lines. When you’ve got that third one in your pooper…well, that’s when you’re most happy.

joedub

February 13th, 2011
2:04 pm

“douchebag”

RobbieinVa

February 13th, 2011
3:25 pm

With all due respect DOB, there is more to this Wagner stuff than meets the eye. Rumor says here in SW VA that Wags’ family is trying to convince him to pitch one more year. Billy himself is the only holdout. I don’t know him personally, but what I do know about him is he is a man of his word so he probably won’t pitch but the possibility is very real that he will.

Robbie

David O'Brien

February 13th, 2011
3:38 pm

With all due respect DOB, there is more to this Wagner stuff than meets the eye. Rumor says here in SW VA that Wags’ family is trying to convince him to pitch one more year. — RobbieinVa

With all due respect Robbie, who else do you want to flat-out say Wagner is retired and not thinking of coming back? So far we’ve had Wren, Wagner’s agent, and Wagner himself say it. And I had every Braves pitcher I’ve asked say that they gave up asking him about it at midseason last year because it was obvious he wouldn’t reconsider.

Until something happens to indicate otherwise, I’m going to assume everyone involved is not clueless or lying about the subject.

sblump

February 13th, 2011
3:53 pm

My crystal ball reads……At ASB we are within 5 games of the Phillies and our closers are not saving 75 % of their games, FW will be up on the farm, twisting Billies arm to help us????

burdell

February 13th, 2011
8:33 pm

With all due respect Robbie, who else do you want to flat-out say Wagner is retired and not thinking of coming back? So far we’ve had Wren, Wagner’s agent, and Wagner himself say it.

Not only have they said that he’s retiring, the Braves have already spent his salary elsewhere. To me that’s the most convincing sign that he’s not returning.

SteveO

February 13th, 2011
10:12 pm

burdell

Really? Tell me why wouldn’t a player say they are retiring not show up to ST and then go sign with a different team? Why didn’t Adrian Gonzalez do that last year when he was only making 4 million? If you think about what you are asking you would know that there is no way it can happen.

SP

February 14th, 2011
10:41 am

I’m completely comfortable with your explanation here DOB and I’d be among those shocked if Wags comes back, but I do still find it odd because FW told a group of STHs at the Prospect Development Week in mid-Jan that Stringfellow had already filed the retirement papers and it was just a matter of them “going through.” My inference was that sometime in the following week (this was on 1/22) that he would officially be off the 40-man.

bobby mizelle

February 15th, 2011
3:24 pm

At each game I went to or saw on TV, I looked forward to Wagner coming in to close. I will truly miss him and only wish he would return.

Dorothy Davis

February 15th, 2011
8:30 pm

He will truly be missed; one of the best closers the Braves ever had, but it’s family time and he deserves it.

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September 25th, 2013
5:20 pm

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