Thursday, February 10, 2005

Rogers threatens to retire if he doesn't get a contract extension 

According to the S-T today, Kenny Rogers told Tom Hicks that he would consider retiring if he doesn't get a contract extension.

While I can't say that I blame him for trying to get an extension, given the fact that he is 40 years old, this threat to retire is just another petty move on his part in what has been a rather contentious history with the team.

Rogers ended up leaving for the Yankees after the 1995 season, after rancorous negotiations with the Rangers, although the deal he struck with New York wasn't significantly better than the Rangers' offer. After being terrible in New York, he was dealt to Oakland and then the Mets, where he walked in the winning run in the 1999 World Series. Following that, he was signed by Doug Melvin to come back to Texas, as the Rangers' backup plan after Aaron Sele and his agent tried to play hardball. Rogers was very good in 2000, worthless in 2001, and then very good in 2002, although he pissed off management again by refusing a trade to the Reds mid-season.

After 2002, the Rangers offered him a 2 year, $10.6 million deal, which Boras categorized as an insult, saying that he had numerous multi-year offers on the table. This, apparently, wasn't true, since Rogers went to Minnesota on a one-year deal.

Everyone seemed to have kissed and made up when Rogers signed a two year deal with Texas after the 2003 season...although Tom Hicks apparently had to step in and authorize the second year, and John Hart supposedly trashed Grady Fuson (who negotiated the Rogers deal) all over baseball for supposedly giving in too easily to Boras's demands.

So Rogers gets his two year deal, coming off an underwhelming season in Minnesota, and pitches fairly well for Texas in 2004, posting a 106 ERA+. So everyone should be happy, right?

Well, apparently not, since Rogers is now threatening to walk away if he doesn't get two more years.

Jim Reeves takes Rogers to task, saying that Rogers was practically begging to come back to Texas last offseason, and demanded a second year as part of the deal. As Reeves points out, that contract ended up being a bargain for Texas last year, and Rogers quite likely could have gotten more than the $3.5 million he is owed for 2005 if he hadn't insisted upon the second year, and instead had been a free agent this offseason.

But that's water under the bridge...Rogers wanted the security of a second year, he got it, and now he needs to just shut up and pitch. Threatening retirement if he doesn't get an extension is pretty classless, and I hope the Rangers call his bluff and tell him he can go home to Southlake and sit there if he doesn't want to pitch without an extension.

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