Jon Paul Morosi at the Detroit Free Press writes that Kenny Rogers has not ruled out pitching again in 2009.
Rogers, who will turn 44 in November, says his arm feels stronger than it has in the past, and that his hip injury from the 2008 season has healed.
"I know I can pitch. I could go out and have a great year next year. It can happen."
Rogers says that the Tigers' disappointing season is on the players, and not on the front office or Jim Leyland and his coaching staff. It's hard to argue with that thought, as the struggles by Justin Verlander, Gary Sheffield, Nate Robertson, the entire bullpen, and Rogers himself resulted in a last-place finish for a team that was thought to be a dominant player in the AL Central coming into this season. Perhaps Rogers' feeling that the Tigers had the talent to win will be enough to make him come back for one more try?
Morosi notes that Rogers will certainly not earn the $8MM he earned in 2008, and instead suggests a reasonable $2MM base salary with several incentives. The Tigers desperately need pitching, but are attempting to cut payroll at the same time. Bringing back Rogers on such a deal could potentially have nice benefits, if he does indeed have something left in the tank.
Rogers went 9-13 in 2008 with a 5.70 ERA. He has not ruled out pitching somewhere other than Detroit if he does decide to return.
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