Apparently, before the Phillies even made plays for their former closer Ryan Madson or newly signed Jonathan Papelbon, they made a call to former closer Billy Wagner.
Wagner, 40, told the Phillies: “I do not have an itch. I’m done. I’ve got a major role on a JV baseball team. I’m JV baseball coach.”
Philadelphia wasn’t the only team to contact Wagner, who didn’t pitch at all in 2011. His final season in 2010 with the Braves was one of the finest the left-hander ever had, closing out 37 games with a 1.43 ERA in 69 games.
Because Wagner was reportedly contacted so early in the off season, it isn’t known if the Phillies sought him out as a closer, a set up man or another competent left-hander along with Antonio Bastardo.
Wagner played for the Phillies in 2004 and 2005 before an ugly divorce with the fans and team.