Just a few months ago, Ryan Franklin announced that he intended to retire after the 2011 season, when his current contract is up. Seven months and some rethinking later, Franklin told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he would like to continue pitching beyond the 2011 campaign.
"I've done a lot of [thinking] this offseason," said Franklin. "I've come to the conclusion that if this year goes well, I'm going to keep playing. If I stay healthy, and I don't see why I shouldn't. The family has told me to keep playing, so I'm going to keep playing."
We heard that Franklin was reconsidering his retirement plans back in September, but he emphasized that the decision would be based around his family and what they want. As the reliever stated, his family is on board with him continuing his career.
Franklin will turn 38 early in Spring Training, and specifically mentioned Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, and Kyle McClellan to Goold as potential understudies for the closer's role. He pitched to a 3.46 ERA with 27 saves in 65 innings in 2010, one year after he posted a 1.92 ERA with 38 saves in 2009. Franklin's current contract guarantees him $6.5MM.