Bagwell plans for life after baseball

Bagwell plans for life after baseball

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jeff Bagwell is a little over a week away from making his retirement official, and he soon will sign a personal services contract that will ensure he will remain a part of the Astros organization for years to come.

The Astros are currently working on a proposed contract and are in the final stages of finalizing the agreement. An announcement will likely come a week from Friday (Dec. 15), upon club owner Drayton McLane's return from a business trip. At that time, Bagwell will also officially announce his retirement.

One of Bagwell's first assignments as the newest member of the club's administration will likely be to attend the Elite Pitchers and Hitters Camp, which will be held at Minute Maid Park at the end of January. The camp will be open to select Major and Minor Leaguers in the Astros' organization and will serve as a warmup for Spring Training, which begins in mid-February.

Only pitchers were invited when general manager Tim Purpura began the camp -- originally called the Nolan Ryan Elite Pitchers Camp -- in 2004, but last year it expanded to include position players, too. Ryan and Bagwell will undoubtedly be the two biggest names among the many coaches who oversee the camp.

Bagwell is also likely to spend time with the club at its Spring Training facility in Kissimmee, Fla.

The forthcoming retirement announcement is somewhat of a formality. Bagwell missed all of 2006 with a degenerative, arthritic shoulder, and while he left a small window of opportunity open that he would undergo another surgery and possibly play again, it was clear it was a long shot.

The Astros declined to pick up the option on Bagwell's contract last month, ending his Astros career. It was just a matter of time, and scheduling, before Bagwell would make his retirement official.

Bagwell ends his 15-year run as the franchise's all-time leader with 449 home runs, 1,529 RBIs, 1,401 walks and 969 extra-base hits.

He recorded a lifetime batting average of .297, and he finished in the top 50 among all Major League players, past and present in seven categories: home runs, RBIs, extra-base hits, walks, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and OPS.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.