Rolen, Reds agree to 2-year extension
Scott Rolen agreed Saturday to a two-year contract extension with
the Cincinnati Reds that guarantees him an additional $13 million
while converting almost half of his 2010 salary to a deferred
The deal, which runs through 2012, clears a little bit of
payroll room for the Reds and shows how much they value the
34-year-old third baseman as a clubhouse leader. Rolen missed time
with a concussion last season, batting .305 with 11 homers and 67
RBIs in 128 games with Toronto and Cincinnati.
A seven-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star, Rolen
had been due to make $11 million next season, the final one in an
eight-year, $90 million deal he got from St. Louis. Instead, he
gets a $5 million signing bonus that will be paid over the next
three years, a $6 million salary next season and $6.5 million in
each of the following two seasons.
Cincinnati is expected to trim its opening-day payroll from
the $71 million it had last season. The Reds drew 1.7 million fans
during their ninth straight losing season, their smallest
attendance since 1986.
When they got Rolen in a trade with Toronto in July, they set
up a logjam at the top of the payroll. Four players would account
for nearly two-thirds of the payroll next year: Rolen, starter
Aaron Harang ($12.5 million), starter Bronson Arroyo ($11 million)
and closer Francisco Cordero ($12 million).
The Reds are looking to trade at least one of the pitchers,
and have had talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers about Harang, who
is coming off two straight disappointing seasons. Arroyo also could
“Scott’s signing is an indication of his feelings toward the
club and the direction we’re taking,” Jocketty said in a statement.
“He wants to stay here, and hopefully he can end his career as a
Rolen grew up in Evansville, Ind. – less than a four-hour
drive away – and attended Reds games as a youth. He was excited by
the trade in July, but a concussion diminished his playing time
during his first two months in Cincinnati.
Rolen was hit in the head by a pitch from Colorado’s Jason
Marquis on Aug. 2, giving him headaches and limiting his
availability. He went on the disabled list Aug. 11. He appeared in
40 games for Cincinnati, batting .270 with three homers and 24
The 1997 NL Rookie of the Year, Rolen is a .284 career hitter
with 283 homers and 1,129 RBIs in 14 major league seasons with
Philadelphia, St. Louis, Toronto and Cincinnati.