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Chilly winter for veterans?


Chilly winter for veterans?
Mike Mussina, a 270-game winner who won 20 this year for the New York Yankees , left no doubt last week: He is retiring. But for a gaggle of highly accomplished veteran stars, this winter could bring considerable uncertainty. With clubs possibly looking to younger, less-expensive talent in fluid economic times, several players could be forced to pull up roots, swallow their contractual pride or stay on the sideline:

Player

Age

2008 team, stats

2008 salary

2009 outlook

Possible destinations

IF Nomar Garciaparra

35

Dodgers, 8 HRs, 28 RBI, .264

$9.5 million

Hasn't stayed healthy for a full season since 2003. His agent, Arn Tellem, told ESPN.com that Garciaparra is "considering his options." The Dodgers have many openings, so it remains to be seen whether he fits into their plans.

Too early to tell

OF Luis Gonzalez

41

Marlins, 8 HRs, 47 RBI, .261

$2 million

He says he'll need the right situation to return. "I'm not going to go somewhere just to play a 19th season," Gonzalez told the Miami Herald in September.

Too early to tell

LHP Tom Glavine

42

Braves, 2-4, 5.54 ERA

$8 million

Recovering from elbow and shoulder surgery, he says he'll play only if he feels good. "If I have pain and issues similar to what I had last year, I'm not going to try and pitch with that again," Glavine told MurrayChass.com.

Braves

2B Jeff Kent

40

Dodgers, 12 HRs, 59 RBI, .280

$9 million

Despite knee surgery, he batted .329 in the second half. His agent, Jeff Klein, told ESPN.com that Kent is unsure if he will play. "He's going to look in his heart and talk to his family," Klein said.

Too early to tell

RHP Greg Maddux

42

Padres-Dodgers, 8-13, 4.22 ERA

$10 million

He told the Dodgers he's retiring but hasn't made it official. The Padres have asked about Maddux -- with 355 career wins -- being a player-coach.

Dodgers or Padres

LHP Andy Pettitte

36

Yankees, 14-14, 4.54 ERA

$16 million

The Yankees have said they want Pettitte back and vice versa. "Typically, that's two good steps to getting it done," GM Brian Cashman told Newsday. "But we're not there yet."

Yankees

LHP Kenny Rogers

44

Tigers, 9-13, 5.70 ERA $8 million

Rogers, a free agent, sounds as if he's ready to return for a 21st season. "I know I can pitch. I could go out and have a great year next year," he told the Detroit Free Press.

Tigers

RHP Curt Schilling

42

Did not pitch

$8 million

Schilling says he would "like to get back on that stage" of pitching in the postseason after missing 2008 because of shoulder surgery. He mentioned the Diamondbacks in an interview last week but sounds prepared to play a partial season for a contender.

Diamondbacks or a contender to be determined

RHP John Smoltz

41

Braves, 3-2, 2.57 ERA in six games

$14 million

Braves GM Frank Wren says Smoltz intends to try to pitch after another shoulder surgery, though it might be for just a portion of the season.

Braves

DH Frank Thomas

40

Blue Jays-Athletics, .240, 8 HRs, 30 RBI

$8 million

Thomas filed for free agency and probably won't want to hang 'em up after a season filled with injury and conflict. An AL team needing a right-handed DH


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 26, 2008

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