At 37-years old, Scott Rolen has had a long and successful MLB career over this 17 years in the league, and had been planning for a well-deserved retirement after the his 2012 season with the Cincinnati Reds.
Not if the Los Angeles Dodgers have anything to say about it, however.
As it turns out, even with a couple of seasons that has seen his skills and output diminish, Scott Rolen still has his share of suitors hoping that he might change his mind about leaving baseball for good. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, one of those suitors is Dodgers GM Don Mattingly, who has recently reached out to the veteran third baseman in an attempt to get Rolen to suit up for one more season with the NL West contenders.
The Cincinnati Reds would also like Rolen to come back, and both teams are still holding one for the veteran to make a decision.
If Rolen did choose to return to the Reds, it’ll be in a bench role to back up Rookie of the Year finalist Todd Frazier. For the Dodgers, though, the role could be expanded. The team will be going with Luis Cruz to start at third in 2013, and Rolen would presumably serve as the plan B. That said, Cruz has never played a full season in the majors, and his career 3.9% walk rate could very quickly lead to a reduced leash being pulled, as the team does not have much room for error in a season where they are expected to compete for the pennant.
Should that happen, it’s possible that Rolen, diminished bat and all, could see an expanded role at third over bench players like Jerry Hairston and Juan Uribe, especially if the team does not want to go with Dee Gordon at short on a regular basis.
Although Rolen is coming off arguably his worst statistical year in 2012 (he was only a 1.1 fWAR player), he still showed some power against RHP, posting a .741 OPS and .175 ISO against right-handers.
In the right role, he could still contribute to a contender’s on-field success, and the Dodgers are hoping that he’ll choose that over retirement, and perhaps teach Luis Cruz a thing or two about drawing walks.