There has been some speculation that Scott Rolen may postpone his retirement and play an 18th MLB season. Rolen is coming off a 2012 season where he had a .245 batting average with 39 RBI and eight home runs. For the last two seasons, Rolen has been a shell of his former self. That’s not surprising when one considers that he has been in MLB since 1996.
Some fans hear this and automatically think that the Chicago Cubs should pursue Rolen. They’ll see his name and think that, while he’s on the downside of his career, that he’s still an upgrade over Ian Stewart and Luis Valbuena. Why not offer him a non-roster invitation to spring training?
There are at least a couple reasons for why that won’t happen. For starters, why would Rolen consider the Cubs when he’s getting offers from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds? Both of those teams are much closer to pennant contention. The Cubs just need someone who can hold down the fort for Javier Baez.
Could the Cubs convince Rolen that they’d become pennant contenders if he joined the franchise? Not a chance. In 2010, Rolen talked about why the franchise hadn’t won a World Series title in over 100 years. He claimed that they were held back because of the old facilities and inconsistent start times. He believes that players are worn down from day games.
That doesn’t sound like anything that would make an almost 38-year-old third baseman lean away from retirement. Stewart and Valbuena can rest peacefully knowing that Rolen has no chance of stealing any of their playing time in 2013.