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Smokin' Hot Stove: Billy Wagner

The Atlanta Braves made another move toward solidifying their pitching staff this week, signing Billy Wagner to a $7 million, one-year deal. The left-handed closer and six-time All-Star will replace last year’s tag team closing duo, Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez.

Wagner, a self-proclaimed life-long Braves fan, went 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA and 22 strikeouts in just 13.2 innings for the Boston Red Sox last year, but missed most of the season after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery late in the 2008 season. He returned to the New York Mets bullpen on August 20, before being traded to the Sox five days later.

His contract includes a $250,000 buyout and 2011 $6.5 million club option, which would become guaranteed if he finishes 50 games next season. This step by the Braves brass follows the Tim Hudson agreement, which not only bulks up the rotation, but pads any trade offers they might come up with toward the end of winter meetings.

[Bleacher Report] | [Diamond Hoggers] | [Fandome]

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