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Wakefield, 44, likely would retire after next season. He wants to return in 2011 for a 17th season with Boston and would like to catch Roger Clemens and Cy Young, with 192 wins, as the winningest pitchers in club history. Wakefield has 179 victories. But he is due to make $2 million and it wouldn’t cost Boston much to release him.

“It’s been very frustrating” shifting between roles, he said. “It’s hard to swallow at times. I’ve done everything they asked me to do without complaining too much.”

And if he is back with Boston?

“I think it will be easier for me, knowing that it will probably be my last year,” Wakefield said.