Veteran third baseman Scott Rolen is preparing to retire, though he will delay an official announcement until later in the offseason, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). Rolen was non-committal about his future when talking to reporters (including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer) following the Reds' elimination from the NLDS today, just noting that his contract with the Reds was up and that he was "going to go home and be a dad."
It's a tough ending for Rolen, who struck out in the final at-bat of the series and also made an error in the 10th inning in Game Three that led to the Giants scoring the game-winning run. Rolen hit .245/.318/.398 in 330 plate appearances for Cincinnati this year, with his playing time limited by both injuries and the Reds' desire to fit rookie Todd Frazier into the lineup. Rolen signed a two-year, $13MM extension with the Reds in December 2009 that covered the 2011-12 seasons.
Injuries plagued Rolen throughout the latter years of his career, though his credentials could still end up earning him a spot in the Hall of Fame. Highlights include the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year Award, seven All-Star appearances, a .281/.364/.490 batting line over 17 seasons, 316 homers and a World Series ring with the 2006 Cardinals. Despite his impressive hitting numbers, Rolen may be best remembered as one of the game's great defensive third basemen, as the eight-time Gold Glover trails only Brooks Robinson (16) and Mike Schmidt (10) for number of Gold Gloves won at the hot corner.