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Rolen decides not to rejoin Reds in camp


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- While not definitively announcing his retirement, third baseman Scott Rolen and the Reds revealed Tuesday that he would not return to the club for Spring Training.

"Right now I'm simply not ready to make a commitment," Rolen said in a statement released via the club. "I would like to leave my options open, without closing any doors. I am looking forward to all of the challenges, both personally and professionally, I will face in the future."

Rolen, who will turn 38 on April 4, hit .245 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs in 92 games last season. He missed 34 games with a left shoulder injury and several more with back problems. He earned $6.5 million in 2012 during the final season of a three-year contract and was widely expected to retire because of the toll on his body and his desire to be close to his family in Bloomington, Ind.

That's why the Reds had in essence already moved on from Rolen by naming Todd Frazier the everyday third baseman early in the offseason. The club also signed free agent Jack Hannahan as a backup third baseman and infielder.

"A big part of our family is gone," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Like always, you pick up new leaders. New leaders are born or acquired when one leader leaves. You don't know who it's going to be. Most leaders are kind of watered in their growth by the previous leader."

Rolen, a seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, is a career .281 hitter with 316 home runs and 1,287 RBIs in his 17 seasons.

Cincinnati acquired Rolen from the Blue Jays for third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and reliever Josh Roenicke at the Trade Deadline in 2009, despite being out of contention. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, who had Rolen while with the Cardinals, valued his leadership that much and felt it was important toward taking the next step as a team.

"Scott made significant contributions to our team's recent success, and it isn't a coincidence we made the playoffs in two of his three full seasons here," Jocketty said. "He made a huge impact in Cincinnati with his work ethic and leadership on the field, in the clubhouse and in our community."

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