Word first becamse public in early October that longtime Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was contemplating retirement. The 37 year old had just completed his 17th season in the Major Leagues, appearing in 92 games for the Reds this past season while batting .245/.318/.398 over 330 plate appearances. Injuries limited him this past season, as they have over the latter half of his career, and the team utilized third base as an opportunity to get rookie Todd Frazier into the lineup with more consistency. At the time it was believed that Rolen wanted some time to consider his options but, despite being a free agent, if he were to return it would likely be on a new deal with the Reds.
As Spring Training creeps ever closer, however, it would appear as though Rolen has yet to formally make an announcement about his future and, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the team is essentially ready to move on at this point. The team will likely install Frazier as their everyday third baseman. The soon-to-be 27 year old hit .273/.331/.498 over 465 plate appearances this past season, finishing 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. The Reds also signed Jack Hannahan as a free agent and acquired Jason Donald from the Cleveland Indians to give them added depth at the position.
If Rolen does call it a career he’ll finish with a .281/.364/.490 batting line, with 316 HR and 1,287 RBI. He won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1997 with the Philadelphia Phillies, won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006, and appeared in seven All Star Games. Rolen also won eight Gold Gloves at third base in his career, trailing only Brooks Robinson (16) and Mike Schmidt (10) at the position.