The move seems to be a sign that the left-handed pitcher is
closer to returning to Detroit and not letting agent Scott Boras
shop his services to the highest bidder.
"I still hope to be in a Tiger uniform in 2008," Rogers wrote
in an e-mail to The Associated Press earlier this week before
reports surfaced that he fired agent Boras.
The Tigers have been busy since the season ended, exercising the
option on Ivan Rodriguez's contract to keep him behind the plate,
trading for shortstop Edgar Renteria and outfielder Jacque Jones
and re-signing closer Todd Jones.
Detroit wanted to include bringing back Rogers in the flurry of
deals, but Boras informed the ballclub that he and Rogers were
going to explore other options.
That conflicted statements Rogers made throughout the season
about wanting to pitch for the Tigers, if the 43-year-old starter
chose not to retire.
Also this month, Boras client Alex Rodriguez used a managing
director at Goldman Sachs to negotiate the outline of a $275
million, 10-year deal with the Yankees. Boras and New York are
working to finalize the agreement.
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.
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.
The Tigers gave Rogers a $16 million, two-year contract before
the 2006 season and he put together a third straight season with an
All-Star appearance and added 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 Yankees, Oakland and St. Louis without a run in
October. He became the first pitcher to have three scoreless starts
in one postseason since Christy Mathewson in 1905.