Rogers wants to return to Detroit, but will also test market

Updated: November 7, 2007, 10:15 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Kenny Rogers has decided he wants to pitch next season, and his agent said Wednesday talks have started with the Detroit Tigers.

Kenny Rogers


The Tigers, though, said the left-hander is interested in finding out if other teams are interested in him.

Rogers was 3-4 with a 4.43 ERA in an injury-shortened season for the Tigers after helping them reach the 2006 World Series. He turns 43 on Saturday.

"Kenny will pitch in 2008 and we are currently in negotiations with the Tigers," agent Scott Boras said.

Detroit president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said the team has expressed an interest in having Rogers return.

"At this point, he and his agent want to explore other options," Dombrowski said from the GM meetings in Florida.

An e-mail seeking comment was sent to Rogers.

Over 19 seasons, Rogers is 210-143 with a 4.43 ERA and is a four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner.

For the first time since 2001, he did not win at least 13 games.

Rogers was limited to just 11 starts after having surgery before last season to remove a blood clot from his left shoulder and repair arteries. He went back on the DL later in the year with inflammation in his elbow.

"Playing for the Tigers again is by far my first preference -- if I play next year," Rogers said toward the end of the season. "My family and I will not discuss the possibility of me playing next year, though, until I feel the itch."

Some snickered when Detroit gave Rogers a $16 million, two-year contract before the 2006 season, but he and the team were validated. He put together a third straight season with an All-Star appearance and a Gold Glove award, helping the Tigers reach the World Series for the first time since 1984.

After going 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA during the regular season, Rogers held the New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals without a run in October. He became the first pitcher to have three scoreless starts in one postseason since Christy Mathewson in 1905.

But just when people stopped talking about him pushing two cameramen in 2005 -- a videotaped tirade that led to a suspension while he was with Texas -- Rogers was at the center of another media circus.

Cameras showed a brown substance on his left hand in the first inning of Game 2 of the World Series, and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa brought it to the umpires' attention. Rogers' hand was clean when he came out for the second inning, and he went on to pitch shutout ball in Detroit's only victory of the Series.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press