Evan Grant writes today that Kenny Rogers is "extremely certain" that he won't be back with the Rangers next season.
It is too bad that it has come to this. Kenny has been a Ranger for a lot of years, and has pitched very well here. He's exactly the style of pitcher that the Rangers seek to bring in, someone who can pitch in the hitter's haven that is TBIA while minimizing the effects of the park. And his departure means that the Rangers are going to have to try to bring in a couple of new pitchers from outside the organization for 2006.
Has Kenny been a jerk this season? No question. Has Kenny done some stupid things in his past stints with the Rangers? Sure.
But the organization hasn't handled things real well, either. Leaking the story about Rogers meeting with Hicks about a contract extension, and supposedly threatening to retire if didn't get one, was a pretty classless move (assuming the leak came from the organization). Having some unnamed official (in my opinion, most likely Dom Chiti) accuse Rogers of ducking the Angels was beyond classless, and was either an act of extreme stupidity, or an indication that the front office had no desire to bring Rogers back next season, and didn't care if the bridges were burned.
There is a silver lining of sorts...if Rogers is adamant about not coming back, then the Rangers can offer him arbitration without fear that he'll accept, thus guaranteeing that they will get two extra draft picks in the 2006 draft.
Still, the Rangers would likely be a better team next season with Kenny Rogers in the rotation than without him. Rogers' asking price may be so high that they wouldn't want to re-sign him anyway, that the team would be better off letting him walk and spending money elsewhere.
But it is a shame that things have gotten to the point where there won't even be any discussions.