Schilling: 'I will play in 2008'

Updated: January 29, 2007, 8:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Curt Schilling's tenure with the Red Sox might end after this season, but his career will not.

Curt Schilling
Schilling

Schilling, whose contract with the Red Sox expires after this season, told Boston radio station WEEI: "I will play in 2008."

At the end of last season, there was doubt Schilling would pitch in 2007, but he put that to rest before the 2006 campaign ended.

"Over the last probably 5-6 months my wife and kids and I have been talking and we came to the conclusion about a week or 10 days ago that I was not going to retire in 2007, that I was going to go ahead," Schilling told WEEI. "I always believed physically I was going to be more than OK. I feel like last year, while I certainly didn't have a year like I know I could have, toward the end I became a lot healthier and my wife and kids want me to continue to play which was the only reason I was retiring in the first place."

Schilling, 40, pitched 204 innings in 2006, with a 15-7 record and a 3.97 ERA. For his career, the right-hander is 207-138 with a 3.44 ERA. He passed the 3,000-strikeout plateau last season and has fanned 3,110 batters in his 18-year career.

While he would prefer to pitch in Boston in 2008, Schilling is open to joining another team. However, he swears he won't pull a Johnny Damon.

"I'm in discussions with the Red Sox. We had talked last week and there's a lot going on obviously right now, but where I'm going to play beyond 2007 ... I hope it's Boston," he told WEEI. "This is where I want to play and in the days leading up to spring training we'll figure it out one way or the other. If I go into this season without a contract from the Red Sox then I will go out and find a home for 2008. It would not be to New York."

Damon, the Red Sox's former center fielder, signed with the Yankees after the 2005 season after declaring he would never sign with Boston's bitter rival.

Red Sox owner John Henry said Schilling's announcement was great news for the team.

"It was something that has been in the back of my mind for the last year," Henry told The Associated Press in an e-mail. "He's such a competitor you had to figure that if he is healthy, pitching well and still has that fire, it would make sense for him to continue. He's still one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.