Kenny Rogers Rumors
Jeremy Bonderman said Tuesday that he's trying to convince 44-year-old Kenny Rogers to return to the Tigers, but doesn't believe it will work. Jason Beck has the full report over at MLB.com.
"I think he wants to be here," Bonderman said, "but he also wants to be with his family. That's just one of those things. You have to pick which one's more important."
Team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski added some thoughts: "I think he's in a position where he's content where he is right now. But it's more up to him on what he decides to do with his life, and I don't know if he's made that decision 100 percent."
44 year-old southpaw Kenny Rogers posted a 5.70 ERA in 173.6 innings last year while earning $8MM. What's the plan for 2009?
We touched on it briefly Saturday - Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp said Rogers is retired, based on a November conversation. Knapp backed off a bit in other comments, while GM Dave Dombrowski doesn't believe Rogers is close to signing with any club.
A few links for Saturday night...
- Kenny Rogers may be leaning toward retirement.
- Sarah D. Morris shares her thoughts on the Dodgers' offseason thus far.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman comments on the Yankees' interest in Andy Pettitte and Ben Sheets.
Joel Zumaya might be ready to pitch this spring--and he might not be, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com. Tigers assistant GM Al Avila calls it "basically a week-to-week, month-to-month situation." That's enough to force the Tigers to come up with a backup plan for their relief corps.
Adding Trevor Hoffman as closer may be at the center of that plan. Brandon Lyon is another option for the ninth, says Beck. Zach Miner is mentioned as an in-house option for the bullpen, but likely wouldn't close. He may need to move to the rotation, pending an update on the futures of Kenny Rogers and Freddy Garcia.
While the bullpen is the focus for the Tigers this offseason, upgrades are also needed at shortstop and catcher, following the departure of 2008 Opening Day starters Edgar Renteria and Ivan Rodriguez.
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.
John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press has the news - Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said today the team will decline shortstop Edgar Renteria's $12MM option for 2009. They'll pay the $3MM buyout instead. Next question: will the Tigers offer him arbitration? Renteria is a Type A free agent, and he'll be less attractive to the other teams if he'll cost draft picks.
Dombrowski will be looking to improve the club at catcher, shortstop, and closer next year (though Francisco Rodriguez will be too costly). Dombrowski debunked the rumor about the Tigers reducing payroll - he says it won't be down significantly. In general, the Tigers will not be active on the free agent market. One other note - Kenny Rogers says it's the Tigers or retirement for him in '09.
John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus has his Every Given Sunday column up, let's take a look at what he has to say:
- Perrotto believes that there's a good chance that the only GM change baseball will see this offseason may be the one we already know about, as Pat Gillick has already announced his retirement. Perrotto cites Assitant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. as a likely replacement. The most likely other change is in Seattle, and cites Dodgers' Assistant GM Kim Ng as a possible replacement, which would make her the first female general manager in the game's history. Perrotto believes Cashman and the Yankees will work something out, though notes that if Cashman leaves, he will ascend to the top of both the Mariners' and Phillies' lists.
- Angels' owner Arte Moreno says that the 2009 club will not exceed the current $123MM payroll. This leaves the Angels with hard decisions on Mark Teixeira, Francisco Rodriguez, Garrett Anderson, Juan Rivera, and Jon Garland. Of all those options, I see Teixeira as the top priority, as well as the most likely to return. Garland and Rivera seem like certainties to be gone, with Garland being one of the more appealing starters on the free agent market.
- The Robinson Cano trade rumors continue, as Perrotto expects the Yankees to make a run at Orlando Hudson. Giving up on Cano seems like a mistake to me, but he certainly hasn't lived up to the expectations he set when he nearly won a batting title in 2006. The Yankees are also not likely to re-sign Jason Giambi or Bobby Abreu.
- The Tigers feel they have a good chance at re-signing Freddy Garcia for 2009. Garcia could potentially be a nice rebound candidate in a rotation that desperately needs help. Perrotto mentions that Detroit has considered Derek Lowe as a possibility, but I don't see how that could work with the Tigers trying to cut payroll at the same time. One thing seems certain: Kenny Rogers will not be pitching for Detroit in 2009.
- The White Sox have removed the nameplate from Joe Crede's locker. Doesn't seem like he'll be back in 2009, not that that's necessarily a new revelation.
- The Royals/Jeff Francouer rumors continue in Perrotto's column. It's been written all over the site, but doesn't it seem like the Royals should actually be pursuing people who have a career OBP that isn't lower than several good hitters' career average?
- The Giants are willing to trade Matt Cain for a solid power hitter in return. Again, I think keeping a rotation headed by Cain and Tim Lincecum for the next few years is a far better option than trading Cain.
- The Pirates have said that the only guarantee for their rotation next season is Paul Maholm. It's been a rough season for Ian Snell, but I don't see why he wouldn't be guaranteed a spot as well, unless they're not positive he'll still be with the club.
- The Mariners will likely non-tender Erik Bedard, completing the downward spiral on what has been one of the worst trades in recent history. Bedard will have shoulder surgery and likely miss a good portion of 2009.
- Speaking of disappointing moves: Both Greg Maddux and Kosuke Fukudome are in danger of being left off their respective teams' postseason rosters.
Today's random linkage...
- The Indians signed 21 year-old pitcher Chen-Chang Lee out of Taiwan. Anthony Castrovince has the scouting report. East Windup Chronicle says the bonus is in the $350-400K range.
- Kenny Rogers suggested Jim Leyland remove him from the rotation. Rogers still thinks he can pitch effectively next year at 44, however.
- Geoff Baker notes an extra benefit to delaying Adrian Beltre's surgery - the playing time could nudge him toward Type A status when he reaches free agency after the '09 season.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday says Yu Darvish will probably not be posted this winter but could be after the '09 season. Davidoff says the Giants, Orioles, and D'Backs have been heavily scouting Japan this year.
- The Cubs are looking at contract extensions for Lou Piniella and Jim Hendry, according to Gordon Wittenmeyer.
Here's some loose change found underneath the cushions of the hot stove couch:
- Kenny Rogers was scratched from his start and Buster Olney wonders if Rogers will retire after this season.
- Philly Inquirer columnist Bob Ford says the Phillies didn't do enough to improve the team before the trade deadline. Umpbump thinks Brett Myers has been a great trade deadline pickup – and the Phils didn't have to surrender a thing.
- The Royals are hoping the contract issues surrounding first baseman first round draft pick Eric Hosmer are resolved in time for him to participate in the Arizona Instructional League. Hosmer remains in limbo as a result of a grievance filed by the players’ union. The central issue is whether the Hosmer and Pirates draft pick Pedro Alvarez agreed to terms prior to the 11 p.m. deadline on Aug. 15.
- Right-hander Greg Reynolds was officially added to the Rockies roster on Friday. His addition was delayed because he started Monday and needed the off time before he could be used in a game. The Rockies are unbelievably only five games back in the NL West.
- Adam Dunn says winning will be his number one priority when he signs with a new team this winter. Sorry, Pirates fans.
TUESDAY: Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press says Rogers and other Tigers were placed on waivers Friday. So we'll know today who cleared and who was claimed. Rogers could make sense for a contender like the Mets. Buster Olney doesn't seem him getting that far - he guesses the Yankees or Red Sox.
MONDAY: According to Tom Gage of The Detroit News, it may be the end of the line for Tigers lefty Kenny Rogers. The 43 year-old has a 5.09 ERA in 161 innings, and his walk rate continues to climb after last year's jump. He's owed another $1.58MM this year, plus up to $2MM more in deferred bonus money. Paul Byrd and Greg Maddux cleared waivers; Rogers probably would as well. Even if the Tigers don't move him this month, they don't seem likely to re-sign him next year.
Baseball Prospectus assigns the Tigers playoff chances at less than 0.2%. It's time to focus on 2009. Peter Gammons suggested the Tigers might trim payroll from the current $137MM range to $100MM. Problem is, they've already got more than $101MM tied up in current players and will be looking for help at shortstop and in the rotation.