Rolen still undecided
Veteran 3B and free agent Scott Rolen still has not made up his mind about whether he will retire or play in 2013. Rolen, who turns 38 on April 4, has been in periodic contact with Reds GM Walt Jocketty. There is interest in bringing Rolen back if he wants to play. It would likely be in a different role since the Reds seem to be moving forward with Todd Frazier penciled in as the regular third baseman.
“We spoke before the holidays,” Jocketty said. “He hasn’t decided. It could be another week to 10 days.”
Personally, I would not be shocked if it takes longer than that.
There really is no need for Rolen to make some sort of announcement, as long as the club hasn’t set any kind of deadline (it doesn’t appear that it has). A decision now locks Rolen in and likely gives him no opportunity to change his mind. If he says he’s retired, the door on playing is likely closed forever and he could have regrets later if the itch to play returns in February. If he agrees to play now and discovers the desire is gone when it’s time to report to camp, then he’s put the club in a bad position, kept another player from having a spot and it’s kind of a regretful way to close a great career.
I know in the Twitter and instant information era, it’s strange to wait all winter for an answer. You can take it to the bank that Rolen has never worried about his perception on Twitter.
In 92 games last season, Rolen batted .245/.318/.398 with eight homers and 39 RBIs. He missed 34 games on the DL because of an injury to his problematic left shoulder and missed several more games over different stretches because of back spasms. Injuries limited him to 65 games in 2011.
Rolen is a possible Hall of Famer but isn’t the sentimental type. He told me once he had no interest in doing a final lap around the league to say goodbye. My prediction is he already has.