Texas may make move for pitcher

Updated: November 11, 2003, 8:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Roger Clemens' tenure in professional baseball may not be over. Not if the Texas Rangers have anything to say about it.

According to a club source, the Rangers have contacted the Hall of Famer's agent, Allan Hendricks, to get a sense of Clemens' attitude about retirement, The Dallas Morning News reports for its Tuesday editions.

The Rangers would like Clemens to join the club in a similar situation to the one that brought Nolan Ryan to Texas in 1989. Ryan pitched at home as much as possible and was allowed liberal time to spend with his family in Alvin. Clemens has said his move toward retirement is largely due to a desire to spend more time with his family in Houston.

Rangers general manager John Hart declined to comment on any Clemens interest when approached by the paper at the GM meetings in Arizona on Monday. Hart did tell the paper he has not engaged in any conversations with clubs about the possibility of trading shortstop Alex Rodriguez.

Hendricks, Clemens' agent, did not return a phone message left by the paper.

Clemens, 41, who has pitched for the New York Yankees the last five seasons, filed for free agency last week rather than sign retirement paperwork. It is not unusual for retiring players to file for free agency, but it does make it possible for Clemens to change his mind. If Clemens had officially retired, he could not have pitched for the Yankees at all next season.

If Clemens is not offered salary arbitration by Dec. 7, he would not be able to re-sign with the New York until May 1, according to the paper. But if the Yankees don't offer Clemens salary arbitration, another club could sign him without having to forfeit a draft pick as compensation.

Clemens, who was 17-9 with a 3.91 ERA, needs 38 strikeouts to pass Steve Carlton for second on the all-time list behind Ryan. Clemens also needs 15 wins to pass Ryan for 12th place on the all-time victory list, and could tie Carlton for ninth spot with 19 more wins. Clemens currently has 310 wins and 4,099 strikeouts.