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Had Wagner rejected the deal, the Mets would have had to pay the nearly $3.5 million left on his contract.
Wagner has pitched two scoreless innings since recently returning from major surgery on his left elbow last September. He had lost his role as the Mets' closer after their offseason acquisition of Francisco Rodriguez.
Epstein said they would not use Wagner in back-to-back games.
"We're realistic," Epstein said. "He's less than a year from Tommy John surgery."
Wagner's contract includes a $1 million buyout for next year. If his option is declined, he can become a free agent in the offseason and sign with any team.
Wagner has said he would like to pass John Franco (424) for the most saves by a left-handed pitcher.
Following a quicker-than-expected return from surgery and rehab, Wagner returned to the injury-ravaged Mets on Thursday night and struck out two in a perfect inning against Atlanta, with his fastball reaching 96 mph.
Wagner struck out two more in a hitless eighth inning Monday against first-place Philadelphia.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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